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Beloved daughter of the late Senator Royal L. Bolling, Sr. and the late Thelma V.M. Bolling and cherished mother of Justyn Mayo


Thelma Bolling of Boston and Oak Bluffs, Massachusetts and Las Cruces, New Mexico, beloved daughter of the late Senator Royal L. Bolling, Sr. and the late Thelma V.M. Bolling and cherished mother of Justyn Mayo died on August 8, 2018, surrounded by family and friends, following a long illness. She was 68.

Born on July 5, 1950 and named after her mom, Thelma was the sixth of twelve children. Nicknamed Sugie, she first attended Hyde Park High School and later Brookline High School as a METCO student, graduated in 1968, and later graduated from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

As a member of a prominent Boston political family, Thelma enthusiastically campaigned for family members, starting at the age of nine when she helped her dad in his first bid for elective office.  She was especially proud when her father and two brothers made Massachusetts history by holding elective office simultaneously:  Royal, Sr. as State Senator, Royal Jr. as State Representative, and Bruce, as Boston City Councilor.

As a student activist in college, Thelma fought to increase minority student enrollment. Her activism prompted her to travel to Atlanta and volunteer on the campaign to elect Andrew Young as the first African- American US Representative from Georgia since Reconstruction.

Always caring and compassionate, Thelma was a dedicated probation officer in Springfield and Boston.  She provided supportive probation services to many young adults involved in the criminal justice system.  She was commended by her department chief for providing the most comprehensive offender profiles for court record. These written profiles included critical life history information that enabled the court to render fair and balanced decisions.

Throughout her life Thelma experienced health challenges and triumphs. At twelve she was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes. In 2012 Thelma, along with only 330 others across the nation, was honored by the Joslin Hospital Diabetes Center for reaching the medical milestone of living fifty years with diabetes.

In January, 1987, Thelma and her husband, the late David Mayo, welcomed the birth of their son Justyn, whom they loved and adored. Just six months later Thelma was diagnosed with breast cancer.

Over the next two years, with prayer, determination and the steadfast commitment to rear Justyn, along with traditional and nontraditional medical treatments, Thelma triumphed as the cancer went into remission.

With deepened appreciation, Thelma embarked on a new and exciting chapter in her life. She received her Ministerial Ordination, adopted the name AwRa, and embraced the holistic practice of healing the mind, body, and spirit.  AwRa received accreditation in alternative healing modalities, including Massage and Aromatherapy, Chakra Realignment, and Polarity Therapy. Awra achieved the status of Master Reiki Practitioner.  Eventually she and Justyn moved to New Mexico, "The Land of Enchantment", where she excelled in the practice of Sound Therapy. Over the next 15 years, AwRa generously shared her healing gifts through song, dance, and teachings at community college classes, local concerts, and hospital ministry.

Two years ago, AwRa, again, was diagnosed with breast cancer.  Spiritually centered, AwRa embraced that her prayers had been answered during each of the past 30 years and that she was truly blessed to live to see her son grow up to become a strong, caring, and loving man.

Throughout her life, Thelma, aka Sugie and AwRa, exemplified the virtues of service, compassion, and love. She always encouraged everyone to create joy in their lives and be present to live in each moment.  Appropriately, Thelma’s favorite tune was her personalized R&B rendition of the song "Happy Happy Joy Joy," from Justyn's favorite childhood cartoon series, "Ren and Stimpy."

Thelma is survived by her son Justyn Mayo, her brothers Royal,Jr. and wife Marion, Blair, Yom (Richard), and sisters Carolyn Bolling Hayes, Deborah, Charlene Bolling Holloway and husband Ronald, Andrea, and sister-in-law Joyce Ferriabough Bolling. In addition to her parents, Thelma was predeceased by her husband David Mayo; sisters Diane, Rhonda, and Lorraine; and brother, Bruce.

Thelma leaves behind a host of extended family and friends to celebrate her life and the love she shared.

A memorial service was held in Las Cruces, New Mexico on August 22nd.  A Celebration of Life will be held on Saturday, September 29th from 1-4PM at Oak Bluffs, Massachusetts. For more information, contact Deborah at 617-893-0963 or Charlene at 360-480-4606.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a contribution.

Memorial Service

September 29, 2018 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Please call Deborah 617.893.0963 or Charlene 360.480.4606 for more information about the service.