NACDS mourns passing of its first president

ALEXANDRIA, Va. Drug Store News has learned of the passing of former—and first—NACDS president and chief executive officer Bob Bolger, who died early Monday morning. The following is from NACDS president Steve Anderson:

On the Passing of Robert J. Bolger 

I must share with the members and partners of the National Association of Chain Drug Stores the sad news that Bob Bolger passed away early in the morning on Monday, Oct. 8. Bob served NACDS honorably, energetically and successfully from 1962 to 1987, and was elected as NACDS’ first president and chief executive officer in 1967. Subsequently, he served as a member of the NACDS Honorary Board. 

NACDS remembers Bob as a committed family man, as the consummate trade association leader and as an effective advocate for the members whom NACDS represents. It is an appropriate reflection of Bob’s life first to offer condolences and warm remembrances to his wife, Helen, to their six children and their children’s spouses, and eight grandchildren.

Bob’s leadership forged both the philosophical identity and physical home of NACDS. He understood, and sought to address, the needs of a diverse membership in an evolving business and public policy environment. He led the initiative to secure the land and construct NACDS’ current headquarters offices in Alexandria, Va. Indeed, we owe much of who we are to Bob Bolger. 

Prior to joining NACDS, Bob worked with front-end and pharmaceutical suppliers, Kraft Foods Company and Smith Kline & French Laboratories. His keen recognition of the importance of bringing chains and suppliers together manifested itself, among other ways, in the creation of the NACDS Marketplace Conference. He also appreciated the changing composition and needs of regional and national chain members, as well as the increasing implications to the membership of government programs. He saw the changes, foresaw their implications, and knew how to work with other leaders through the Association to address them. 

Bob contributed valuably to the association community beyond NACDS, serving in leadership positions in several pharmacy, retail and business associations, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. He is remembered by the NACDS staff as a leader who inspired excellence in association management, and who equipped his team with the professional development and resources necessary to do their jobs and advance their careers. To remember the vibrant life of Bob Bolger, and on behalf of his family, we invite you to participate as you are able in the following arrangements: 

Visitation Wednesday, October 10, 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.  Demaine Funeral Home 520 S. Washington Street, Alexandria, Virginia

Mass of Christian Burial 

 Thursday, October 11, at 10:30 a.m. St. Mary’s Catholic Church 310 S. Royal Street, Alexandria, Virginia Interment will follow at St. Mary’s Cemetery 

Memorial Contributions and Expressions of Sympathy In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in Bob’s name to:  Office of University Development Villanova University

 800 Lancaster Avenue Villanova, PA 19085

Alternatively, contributions may be made in Bob’s name to: LaSalle College High School 8605 Cheltenham Avenue Wyndmoor, PA19038

Finally, expressions of sympathy can be sent to Helen and the family at: Helen Bolger 7705 Maid Marian Court Alexandria, VA 22306

Please join all of us in remembering fondly and appreciating fully the legacy of Bob Bolger.

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