TEMPLE, Major General (Ret.) Merdith Wyndham Bolling "Bo", passed away on November 1, 2020, at his home in Richmond, Va., after a long and valiant battle with cancer. He did so peacefully and surrounded by his immediate family. He was preceded in death by his parents, Dr. James E. and Lisbeth Temple; and his brother, Ira "Jack" Mitchell. He is survived by Nancy, his wife of 41 years; daughter, Meredyth Temple and son-in-law, Julius Green; son, Peter Temple; brother, K. Richmond Temple; sister-in-law, Charlotte Mitchell; sister and brother-in-law, Christina and Gerald King; and countless family and friends around the world.
Bo graduated from Virginia Military Institute in 1975 as a civil engineer, and was commissioned in the U.S. Army. He served in operational engineering commands at home and abroad before commanding the 307th Engineer Battalion (82nd Airborne Division). As a Colonel, Bo was the Commanding Officer of the 20th Engineer Brigade (Combat) (Airborne) Ft. Bragg, N.C. He finished his career as a Major General, serving as the Acting Chief of Engineers of the United States Army Corps of Engineers from June 17, 2011 to May 22, 2012. After 37 years in the military, Bo continued to work after retirement on multiple corporate and nonprofit boards; he loved the projects he participated in and the wonderful people he worked with, always excited to tackle a new challenge.
Bo's achievements and awards include the Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit (two oak leaf clusters), the Bronze Star Medal (two oak leaf clusters), Joint Service Commendation Medal, Defense Meritorious Medal and multiple other service and unit awards including the Gold DeFleury. He held the Master Parachutist badge and was a Jump Master. In 2010, Engineering News Record magazine recognized Bo as one of its top 25 newsmakers.
Bo was always a curious and contemplative person. He read every day, staying up-to-date on new technologies and scientific findings. He was a historian and would voraciously consume books and articles about American and European history. His encyclopedic knowledge and love of learning was infectious. He also enjoyed classic films, especially sci-fi or westerns.
His kindness towards all and his love for family were unmatched. He was compassionate, a careful listener and insightful when he offered his thoughts. His children regularly sought his advice on all topics, and he provided wisdom with insight and encouragement, making you feel you could conquer any challenge. He made those around him feel important, capable and cared for – traits that touched all who knew him and changed us all for the better.
Despite his setbacks in health over a 13-year battle with cancer, Bo lived a life of love and compassion with unmatched energy and joie de vivre. While there were rough days, every day with him was treasured.
Bo always said, "Do the right thing, for the right reasons, in the right way." Rest easy, your duty is done. Essayons!
A graveside service with Full Military Honors will be held at 11:00 a.m. Monday, January 4, 2020 at Oakwood Cemetery in Lawrenceville, VA.