Fred A. Bollin [1939- 2013]; Manager led reform team at zoo


Fred A. Bollin, 74, who oversaw data and management services for a prominent accounting firm and later led a five-person leadership team that guided the Toledo Zoo out of a period of turmoil, died Sunday in Ebeid Hospice Residence in Sylvania.

Mr. Bollin of Springfield Township learned in June he had advanced melanoma, his wife, Mary Lou, said. He volunteered for trial treatment protocols at the University of Michigan, and close friends shared chauffeur duties in getting him there, sometimes twice weekly.

“He had such a zest for life,” his wife said.

Mr. Bollin retired in 1998 from the Detroit office of Ernst & Young LLP. He joined the Toledo office of its predecessor, Arthur Young & Co., in 1973 and during his tenure, was put in charge of information systems and management services. He oversaw consultants and took charge of new business development. In the early 1990s, he was assigned to the Detroit office and promoted to director of information services for a region that included Toledo, his wife said. He had his own consulting business in retirement.

“He loved challenges, and he was good at figuring things out,” his wife said.

Mr. Bollin called on those attributes when he was chosen to lead a management team at the zoo in 2005. The zoo’s longtime executive director had stepped down in the uproar that followed the firing of the zoo's longtime veterinarian, and the zoo staff was left reeling.

“He led the zoo through a very difficult time,” said R. Andrew Odum, assistant director of animal programs and curator of herpetology, who was on that five-person team. “He was a personal mentor and a seasoned CEO who came in and helped his community. He was selfless and a very remarkable individual and, I have to say, a dear friend.”

Mr. Bollin had led the board of TARTA and was a trustee of ProMedica. He was a founding member of the Eastern Community YMCA and had been board chairman of Stone Oak Country Club.

He was born Nov. 19, 1939, to Martha and Frederick Bollin and grew up in East Toledo. He was a 1957 graduate of Waite High School, which in 2011 named him a distinguished alumnus.

He received a bachelor of education degree from the University of Toledo — he aspired to be a math teacher — and was in the ROTC. In the Army, he was sent on a yearlong classified mission overseas about which he never spoke, his wife said.

He worked at Unitcast Foundry and received a master’s degree in mathematics from UT. He was a former systems manager for Owens-Corning Fiberglas and a member of the Catawba Island Club.

Surviving are his wife, Mary Lou, whom he married June 16, 1962; son,Fred; daughter Kristina Kelso; brother Ed, and three grandchildren.

Memorial services will be at 11 a.m. Saturday in Epworth United Methodist Church, where he was a member.

The family will greet guests after 10 a.m. Arrangements are by the Walker Funeral Home.

The family suggests tributes to the Waite High scholarship fund, the To-ledo Zoo’s aquarium fund, or the church.

Contact Mark Zaborney at: or 419-724-6182.