Lloyd and Evelyn Bolding first arrived in Kilgore in 1961 – despite a few years away over the decades, their roots go deep here, and they’ve been steadily tilling away at their home turf.

“If it needs doing,” Mayor Ronnie Spradlin praised Tuesday night, “they’re not going to sit and read about it, they’re just going to go do it.”

Spradlin, one of Kilgore Historical Preservation Foundation’s three Derrick Award honorees last year, presented the Boldings with the most recent accolade this week in front of a crowd of other longtime volunteers and supporters gathered in KHPF’s Old Post Office History & Arts Center downtown.

“This is the end of Historical Preservation Month and we’re here to honor a couple for the work they’ve done here in this town and for historical preservation,” KHPF President Jerry Camp said. “I’d also like to thank our volunteers, because without our volunteers nothing is going to get done.”

Praising the Boldings’ outstanding service to the organization since its inception in 1987, Spradlin underscored their many years of contributions before then.

“They’re very, very special people to our community, to me and to Kilgore Historical Preservation Foundation,” he said. “From the very start of KHPF, they had a fundraiser at their facility. They have contributed time, money, love and labor.”

For example, Spradlin added, among numerous projects, Evelyn devoted one Mother’s Day down on Commerce Street, giving the old Shell sign a bright, fresh coat of paint.

The Boldings have been active contributors to KHPF anniversaries and other functions, helped fuel the Memorial Derrick program and put a special focus on Commerce, Kilgore’s Downtown Entertainment Corridor.

According to Spradlin, “They have a long history of stepping up when something needs doing.”

KHPF’s next key event will be a birthday celebration for the Crim Theater, set for Friday, June 21. Follow Kilgore News Herald for more details on the developing event.

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