Howard Bolton

A person of character

CONSIDERING, he bought a pharmacy in 1962 from George Griffon without signing a contract or a lease. He’s a man to be trusted. He refinanced his house to pay for it, and Bolton’s Pharmacy on Perkins Road was born. “It was a success from day one, as far as I was concerned.”

CONSIDERING, he cultivated a strong work ethic early. At age 12, he began delivering prescriptions by bike for Lakeshore Pharmacy. In his high school years, he was a soda jerk and a clerk in the pharmacy—and also packed ice cream at night.

CONSIDERING, he was married for 56 years to his wife Betty, and they have two children—“a prince and a princess”—six grandchildren and one great-grandson. The two of them ran the pharmacy together, welcomed patrons and their families, and knew everything that went on up and down Perkins Road.

CONSIDERING, he joined the Louisiana Board of Pharmacy in 1972 and became its executive director in 1980. He retired in 1997, after 17 years of service. Meanwhile, he credits Betty with running the store. “I loved what I did for the board, but I missed the interaction with the people. It was great to be in the store.”

CONSIDERING, for 40 years he has stayed connected to the community through the Kiwanis Club, serving as its president for a time. “We can help children in the area. We can do things together that we can’t do independently.”

CONSIDERING, he’s dedicated. He served as the president of Hospice of Baton Rouge after many years of service. He was instrumental in the installation of the free pharmacy at the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, and still helps with that yearly. He also remains active in the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank. In addition, he’s been a vital member of First Methodist Church for 70 years.

CONSIDERING, his wife Betty passed away five years ago from Alzheimer’s disease. He continued to care for her, alone, right up until the end.

CONSIDERING, he has a twinkle in his eye and a kind-hearted spirit. Even in the face of adversity, he looks on the bright side.

CONSIDERING, his garden brings him much joy. He grows everything from broccoli and cabbage to satsumas and Meyer lemons. While Betty was ill, he would set up a chair outside for her to rest on while he worked. He loves to watch his plants grow. “To have a garden is to believe in tomorrow.”

Editor Ashley Sexton Gordon nominates a person of character from the Baton Rouge community each month. [email protected]