Bolinger’s Propane Service and Warren Service & Supply were founded with family in mind. Herb & Elizabeth opened this service business in 1948. They had lived in Ft. Wayne while Herb worked at G.E. Herb was an inventor; several of his inventions were patented by G.E. We boast proudly about the “Herb Pitless”, that Grandpa Bolinger should have patented! G.E. moved Herb, Elizabeth & boys to Iowa to start a new GE plant for 3 years. Herb & GE had a pact that he & his family would move back to the Ft. Wayne area after 3 years. When GE wanted Herb to stay in Iowa longer than 3 years, he resigned and moved to Warren to start our Family Business!
Jim had memories of GE chiefs coming to Warren in their “expensive suits” and asking Herb, in his dirty clothes, to come back to work for GE, but Herb declined because they did not stick to their promise of returning him to the Ft. Wayne area at the end of 3 years and he wanted to remain close to his & Elizabeth’s extended families.
History of Herb & Elizabeth’s sons: John, the oldest, enlisted in the air force, was a fighter pilot and received an honorable award from the French & US governments for saving a French village from damage from his plane crash, then later became an Indiana State Auditor, and received Warren’s Samuel Jones Pioneer award. He married Donna Lou and had 7 children, one of which is Mike, a current owner. Mark, the youngest, started working at International Harvester then came to work at the Family business; he married Marie and had 6 children. Jim started working at the family business as a teenager and while in high school, had a stellar basketball career in high school earning the coveted Kiwanis basketball award. Jim worked hard at building a strong clientele of satisfied customers. The enthusiasm of owning a service business in Warren came from being public/town minded and caring for the customers, a long standing Bolinger tradition. Jim married Donna Jean and had 3 daughters, one of which is Gina, a current owner. Jim’s daughters reminisce about going on many gas deliveries and plumbing & heating calls with him. Jim passed away unexpectedly from Acute Hemolytic Anemia in August of 2012. Many of the children, grandchildren and great grandchildren of Herb and Elizabeth have enjoyed working at the family business. The third generation of Mike, Gina & Scott are the current owners along with the second generation of Marie DeWeese and we are blessed to currently have the fourth generation, Brandon Bolinger, working here full time.