It is with great sadness that we bring you the news of the passing of Major Luther S. Lollar, Bat World Sanctuary’s very first volunteer and the father of our Founder and President, Amanda Lollar.
Major Lollar was an avid financial supporter of Bat World and was instrumental in getting Bat World off of the ground over 20 years ago. He generously built all of the original flight caging and rehabilitation caging for Bat World. He constructed the educational displays for the picture windows, built over 200 bat houses which were sold across the US, with 20 being mounted in the downtown area of Mineral Wells, Texas, home of Bat World Sanctuary. He loved farming and gardening, and devoted several acres of his land to planting melons and other fruits, which he harvested and cut into bite-sized pieces for the bats. The fruit was then bagged and frozen so the bats would have fresh fruit all winter long without any burdensome food bills for out-of-season fruit. He was an extraordinarily kind man who loved all kinds of animals, and would drive to the market to collect and then deliver the 80 pounds of bananas needed each week for the fruit bats.
Major Lollar was a highly decorated soldier; serving in WWII and twice in Vietnam, both in the Marines and the Army. He was one of the first soldiers to serve on the front lines in Vietnam. Among his many medals he was honored with the distinguished Flying Cross for manning an unarmed helicopter and chasing away Vietcong who outnumbered and were advancing on trapped U.S. troops. Three unarmed helicopters were dispatched to pick up troops. Heavy fire drove two of the helicopters to retreat. Alone, Major Lollar aggressively flew in, and using his helicopter blades as a weapon, kept the Vietcong at bay to allow the other two helicopters to land and retrieve our troops. Major Lollar designed the artillery on the outside of helicopters and tested it, which was the basis for all future helicopter weaponry. In the final battle scene of the movie, “We Were Soldiers”, both the maneuvers and the equipment were representative of Major Lollar’s work.
On his last trip to the hospital, upon waking, the first thing he asked Amanda was, “How are the bats?” You will be sorely missed by all, Major. We owe you a debt of gratitude for the life we all enjoy.
Major Lollar passed away Friday, November 16, 2012 and was buried on Tuesday, November 20 with full military honors. He was preceded in death by wife Gladys Lollar, who passed away December 18, 1993.