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James D. Boak
05/22/1925 — 07/05/2020
From Richland, WA | Born in in Koskonong, MO
Richland, WA US 99352
James D. Boak
James Donald Boak
May 22, 1925 – July 5, 2020
James D. Boak was born on May 22, 1925 in Koskonong, MO to Bert Elmer and Nettie Irene Boak.
Jim passed away on July 5, 2020 in Richland, WA at age 95 due to complications from COVID-19. He had family by his side, and those that could not be there due to restrictions were holding him close in their thoughts.
He joined the USMC in 1942 and was a veteran of WWII. While honorably serving for four years (Marine Aircraft Group 24), he participated in action against the enemy at North Solomons & Bougainville. During his time in a Crash, Fire and Rescue unit, he received a letter of commendation when he ran into a burning plane, rescuing the pilot, without regard for his own safety. Jim spent a month in a burn unit with burns covering over 60% of his body. He achieved the rank of Corporal in 1944.
He married Kaye (Eunice) Marie Freeman on November 16, 1955. They raised two children, Lisa & Wally, and later their Granddaughter Erica, after losing Lisa to a rare lung disease. They were married for 61 years when Kaye passed in 2016.
He worked at the Hanford site as a Fire Fighter, B Reactor Operator, and Chemical Lab Technician. He retired at age 62 in 1987.
He had an interest for Frank-Lloyd Wright Architecture, and Wright’s style inspired the design for the home he built that was a place family and friends gathered in for over 40 years.
Jim enjoyed drawing line art, and has a portfolio of work that his family cherishes.
He liked to read, and could almost always be found with a book in his hand or a book he wanted to tell you about.
Jim also often hummed a tune, and sometimes sang a song he had created right out of his back pocket.
Jim gathered for morning coffee with close friends daily for many years, and in late 2016 was joined by General Jim Mattis, whom he was honored to build a friendship with.
He was a long-time member of the John Birch Society.
His family will always remember his smile, gentleness, creativity, love, and loyalty to his family, friends, and Country.
Jim was preceded in death by his parents, four brothers and sisters, wife Kaye Marie, and daughter Lisa Eileen.
Jim is survived by his son Wally Boak; Step-Sons L Alan McMurtry and Jerry McMurtry. Grandchildren are Erica (Chris) Snell, Ian Hogan, Angela Boak, and Breanna (Jared) Sanders. Great-Grandchildren are Cierra Boak, Taylor Sabin, Soren Snell, Baylee Snell, Amelia Snell and Macey Sanders. His survivors also include one Great-Great Grandchild; Rielle Sahovic, and longtime friend Keith Fuller.
A graveside service will be held Friday, July 17th, 2020 at Sunset Memorial Gardens at 12:00pm with private viewing 10:00a.m. – 12:00p.m. for close family and friends.
915 Bypass Highway
Richland, WA 99352
I grew up on Totten street and that is how I knew Jim. After I grew up and started working on the Hanford site in the labs is where I really became good friends with Jim. He was always a easy going calm person whom I have always respected. I know he will be missed many.
Wally … I would have attended your Dad’s services but I didn’t know when they were. (We don’t get the newspaper daily.)
You were blessed with wonderful parents! My mother grew up with Jim and she was always so fond of him. They shared the same birthday!
Bless you all!
Glenna Hammer Moulthrop
He will be missed, we were so lucky to have met him because he was a gift. Glad he and Grandma are reunited. Love and prayers to all!
My condolences at the untimely passing of your father. While mine was a Navy veteran of duty in the Atlantic, their postwar interests would coincide around family, a love of the arts, craftsmanship, and books. I would imagine Jim worked for a time with my father, a 20-year Operator at the B Reactor. Your father was fortunate to enjoy a good many retirement years. We will miss them always.
I am so sorry for your loss, I worked with Jim in the early 80’s at 222-S lab. I have fond memories of Jim while working at the lab. Jim always had a smile for all of us, he was kind and patient with all of us new kids at the lab. Eternal rest grant unto Jim, O Lord.
I’m sorry for your loss Ian. My God Bless you and your family. 🙏🙏🙏❤❤❤
I am sad to learn of Jim’s passing. He was a truly good man with a caring heart. He was a good friend to me and to many others. He was a always ready to lend a capable hand and helped me get through several projects. He was very well read, always had a new book he was reading and we had great conversations. I will miss him greatly.