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Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Obituary – Jimmie Lee Boatright (1962 – 2023)

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Jimmie Lee Boatright was born on January 19th 1962 in Nyssa, Oregon to Doyne and Udene (Pennington) Boatright and he gained his angel wings with his family gathered around him on January 6th 2023 in a Fort Smith hospital. He was preceded in death by his parents both of Mansfield, Arkansas, his beloved brother William (Bill) Boatright and beautiful bonus sister Sandra Boatright. He is survived by his loving wife Bonecia Boatright of the home. Together they were blessed to share four children, Angie (and John) Byers and their children Shelby, Hailey and Braxton, Jonathan “Boaty” (Chelsea Long and their child, Sadie) of Fort Smith Arkansas, Kanisha (and Jason) Bradshaw and their children Jayden, Logan and Olivia of Tennessee and Shawnee Dirden of Fort Smith, Arkansas. He leaves behind his precious brothers and sisters Alan Boatright of Bend, Oregon, Larry (and Betty) Boatright of Sallisaw, Oklahoma, Beverly (and Jim) Lyons of Mansfield Arkansas, Donna (and Johnny) Webb of Howe, Oklahoma and so many wonderful nieces and nephews.

Jimmie never met a stranger and would have gladly given the shirt off his back for anyone that he met. He would often go and say he was running an errand and come back a few hours later and say well “I just got to talkin” as he laughed, because there’s always somebody to talk to. He may have been intimidating to some that he met, but didn’t take long to figure out that he was just a big old teddy bear that you wanted to give a big hug to especially those who grew to love him and that he loved big. He gave his time volunteering in such things like Little League and was part of the Mansfield School Board for many years.

He did love coaching for sure. He may have been the loudest one out there and you could hear him yelling through town during practice giving orders and directions, but his heart was pure. Just ask anyone of those several boys and girls he coached throughout the years. He made sure that none of them ever went without a ride home or even a ride to the game. He would go get them no matter where they were. He never wanted anybody to be left behind. He continued to follow these same kids throughout the years with mentoring, pushing them to be the best that they could be no matter what and no matter how hard it was. He told them they could do better and succeed, such as they did.

Jimbo loved his kids and grandkids with more words than we can ever describe. He would act like he could sing with them and he would terrorize them by tickling them and that caused lots of laughing and smiling. He tried to make every Mansfield Tiger game proudly defining that “Boatright was in the house.” There wasn’t a referee in the state that he met that called better than my dad and he saw fit that his opinion was not quiet but made known to everyone, no game will ever be the same.

He loved our little town of Mansfield and so very proud of the high school that he had a hand in getting built. He was always trying to make things better for our town even if it meant some resistance along the way but the decisions that had to be made but it always was done for the good and the best interest of all our kids and our parents as well. He was proud to wear red and white although sometimes he would forget and were yellow and black on accident to a football game.

Jimmie loved his motorcycles. It could be said that he may have loved his motorcycle more than his family sometimes. He may have terrified everyone riding with him but he didn’t care he felt free, brave and strong. He loved those long rides through the states and each ride was so very precious to him and all those who traveled with as well. He was a very proud veteran of the United States Army and was a member of the AM vets and for that family he had there, everyone was blessed. He so very much loved his yellow Harley-Davidson and I’m sure that’s what he’s riding in heaven.

Jim Boatright was a loving, caring, compassionate husband, father, Papa and brother. Our hearts ache as he’s not with us anymore, but now he is free of pain and flying high. He was a mentor to so many, but a hero that will never be forgotten and will always be carried on in our daily conversations. He will forever be missed by all those who knew and loved him.

Please come and join our family for a Celebration of life for Jimmie Boatright on Saturday, January 21st, 2023 at 1:00 p.m. at Fellowship Baptist Church in the gymnasium, With a private ceremony at a later date at the National Cemetery in Fort Smith Arkansas.

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Tammy Teague
Tammy is the heart behind the brand. Her tenacity to curate authentic journalism, supported by a genuine heart is one her many wholesome qualities.
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