William J. Bole, 75, of Wayne, former president of a national marketing firm, American Tele-Response, died Dec. 19 at the Beaumont at Bryn Mawr retirement community after a long battle with cancer.
Mr. Bole grew up in Drexel Hill, graduated from Upper Darby High School, and then joined the Air Force, serving at a radar site in Empire, Mich. His requests to be sent overseas during the Korean War were rejected because he had lost his older brother, Robert, in World War II.
He planned to attend the University of Pennsylvania after his discharge, but decided to take a job as a salesman for Pecora Adhesive Co. and opened an office in Dallas. Later, he would tell his children: "Texas was my college."
At age 27, he was promoted to national sales manager and moved back to Philadelphia. In 1977, he founded American Tele-Response, which at one time employed more than 1,000 people. ATR ran telemarketing campaigns for organizations including TV Guide, DuPont Co., U.S. News and World Report, and the U.S. Golf Association. In 1983, Mr. Bole sold ATR to Philadelphia Suburban Water Co.
Mr. Bole donated to charities and schools. He was a member of the President's Council of Immaculata College. He served for several years as chairman of the Seventh Congressional District Military Academy Selection Committee, which recommends appointments to West Point.
Mr. Bole and his wife of 51 years, Betty, traveled extensively, spending winter months at their residence in Delray Beach, Fla. Mr. Bole was a sports enthusiast with a passion for golf, competing in member-guest and pro-am tournaments across the country. He scored two holes-in-one and occasionally won a big tournament. He belonged to many golf clubs during his life but called Overbrook his home.
He was a longtime member of St. Katharine of Siena Catholic Church in Wayne.
In addition to his wife, he is survived by sons William J. Jr. and Terrence J.; daughters Stacie, Elizabeth Kane, Anne Mullen, Marguerite Lee and Christine Lesko; a sister, Marguerite Goldschmidt; brothers Theodore, Kenneth and Jeffrey; and 18 grandchildren.
A Funeral Mass was said yesterday at St. Katharine of Siena Church in Wayne. Burial was in Calvary Cemetery, West Conshohocken.