John Charles Boland, 63, of Memphis, died December 26, 2015 in the emergency room of the Highland Community Hospital in Picayune MS.
He was born March 25, 1952 in Grand Blanc, MI, the son of Gilbert and Arletta (Peterson) Boland.
John grew up in Flint, MI, as a farmer before joining the United States Army in 1972. He proudly served his country and loved to do so. He retired in 1992 from the United States Army as an E6 with 20 years of service. After his military retirement, he worked for the Veterans Administration as a Federal Commissioned Police Officer in New Orleans, LA.
He married the former Judy Glasgow on August 14, 1993 in New Orleans at the VA. She survives.
John was an avid hunter and outdoorsman. If John could have lived in the woods, he would have. He even fixed up his “deer condo” with his wonderful friend Matt McKee, in hopes of getting sent to the dog house by his wife. John loved traveling in their motor home to the South as long as it didn’t interfere with hunting season. John not only loved to hunt, but he was also passionate about NASCAR, football, baseball, and cooking for anyone who would sit still long enough to be fed. Of course, he would never miss an episode of the Young and the Restless.
Christmas brought a time of great joy to John. It was this time of the year that his true heart shone through because he was able to be Santa’s helper for the entire local community – he was Santa for many people, adult and children.
He had many, many friends everywhere he went. No matter where he lived he would always find something or some organization that interested him. When he lived in Pearl River, LA, he joined a Mardi Gras club named Krewe de la Boutte Dominique. His highlight came when he became the King of the Ball in 2003 and was made The Lion King.
After Hurricane Katrina, he and his wife moved to Memphis, MO, where he truly came to life. He gained numerous friends and never met a stranger.
He would spend hours at J’s Grocery Store, telling his wife he was going out for a gallon of milk. However, he would spend time at the store talking with anyone who would listen, making them laugh and joking around.
John loved helping around his community, whether it be cutting the neighbor’s grass in the summer, plowing snow in the winter, making sure the children and adults in the neighborhood always had candy, filling in at the Scotland County Hospital Auxiliary Gift Shop, or just bringing a smile to everyone’s face. He found great pleasure in getting ready for the hunting seasons and making delicious deer jerky and sausage.
In the last year of his life he was a very busy man. He was very proud to take a Honor Flight honoring the Vietnam vets in April 2015. He and Judy bought a new motor home in May 2015. He also enjoyed attending the St. Louis Cardinals baseball game with the Matt McKee family in July. John and Judy traded in their small RV for a Class A Motor Home that he had always dreamed of. They only not only used it for camping, but in tailgating at SCR-1, where it became known as the “The Team Bus.” In December, their house won second prize for the Chamber of Commerce Christmas decorations contest.
John was truly a wonderful man and will be deeply missed by everyone who knew him.
He was loved by many and forgotten by none.
He was preceded in death by his father, Gilbert Boland; two brothers, James “Jim” and Robert “Bobby” Boland and an infant sister.
He is survived by his wife of 23 years, Judy Boland ; three daughters: Bethany Spence (Matthew) of Picayune, MS , Starr Holt of Tahlequah and Tracy Holt of Oklahoma City, OK; one son, Jonathan Boland of Hinesville, GA; one stepdaughter, Karen Salisbury of Slidell, LA; and one stepson, John Litzenberger, Jr. (Chere) of Pearl River, LA; four grandsons, Landon Boland, Jayce Spence, Landry Holt, and Jesse Salisbury; one granddaughter, Courtney Litzenberger; his mother, Arletta Boland and numerous brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephew and many, many friends.
Funeral services will be held at 12:30 p.m. on Tuesday, January 5, 2016 at the Gerth Funeral Chapel with the Rev. Robert Moseley, pastor of the Arbela Baptist Church, officiating. Burial, with military honors, will be in the Missouri Veterans’ Cemetery at Jacksonville, MO. His casket will be escorted by the Freedom Riders from Memphis to Jacksonville.
Visitation is on Sunday, January 3, from 3-8 p.m., with the family present from 6-8 p.m., at the funeral home.
Memorials are suggested to the Scotland County Hospital Auxiliary or the grandchildren’s education fund.
Click here for directions to Missouri Veterans’ Cemetery in Jacksonville.