Col. Heath “Bo” Bottomly was born in Chinook, Montana, on Sept. 30, 1919. He was a graduate of the University of Montana and the West Point class of 1944, and a decorated fighter pilot who served in the Pacific in World War II, and later, in Vietnam and Thailand. Upon retirement from the Air Force, he was a Christian speaker, storyteller, writer and coach, who lived in Etna for a number of years.
Col. Bottomly was an inspiration to writer’s at the Writer’s Club for his encouragement in journaling and the result of his journaling which led to his taped stories of his own experiences, which were exciting adventures!
Tim Colbert said that he knew Col Bottomly knew him from the Scott Valley Berean Church and from being his tennis coach at Etna High School. Several years later reading a newspaper in Idlewild, CA for our anniversary, when I saw his picture It was an advertisement for him to tell stories at different events. I told my wife, “I know this man!” and promptly called the number associated with the add. His wife, Penny answered the phone and she remembered who he was and invited over….So Tim showed up the next day and talked with the Col. for several hours. He showed him where he was recording all his memoirs of the wars he had been in. He gave him a stack of CD’s that were memoirs of his days in Vietnam. This man had lived through it all, shark attacks, tiger pits, Vietcong, being shot down out of an airplane, and being staked to a tree… He had survived it all! Since then I have passed the stories on to other friends that knew him to keep his memory alive. They also help show the world what our troops do to keep us safe. “Thank you Lord for sharing him with us!” editor’s note
On Oct. 24, 2016, he died peacefully at home in Winchester,
California. Col. Bottomly was preceded in death by his daughter, Viki Jagger; and his first wife, Elizabeth Bottomly.
He is survived by his wife, Penny Bottomly; his brothers, Richard and Forbes; his sister, Elizabeth Withington; his children Roc Bottomly, Kirk Bottomly, Sheri Carlson and Kris Hurst; 12 grandchildren; and 22 great grandchildren.
He will be interred at Riverside National Cemetery at 11 a.m., Friday, Dec. 2, 2016. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in Col. Bottomly’s name to Wounded Veterans Initiative: cci.org/veterans. — in Etna, California.