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Bill Boswell

September 28, 1932 - December 22, 2020

U.S. Veteran

A Celebration of Life will be planned for a later date. A private burial will take place at Timber Ridge ARP Church Cemetery in Fairfield, VA.

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Bill Boswell, 88, of Forest, VA passed away Tuesday, December 22, 2020 at CENTRA’s Lynchburg General Hospital after battling COVID-19.

Bill was born in Winston Salem, NC on September 28th, 1932 to the late Neal and Ruby Bateman Boswell Wagoner. The family moved to Burlington, NC shortly after Bill was born. He graduated from Walter Williams High School, where he excelled at his favorite subject….sports! Bill was co-captain of his high school football team, the “ Bulldogs”, played basketball, baseball and wrestled, setting many school records. He enjoyed volunteering with the YMCA Boys Club in Burlington by mentoring and coaching youth in various sports. He attended Greenbriar Military School in Lewisburg, WV proving to be an asset to their athletic program. Bill was drafted and proudly served in the U.S. Army with the Signal Corps stationed in Austria and Germany receiving the Good Conduct Medal and The Army Occupational Medal. Upon the death of his father, Bill returned to Burlington and continued to serve as an Army Reservist. He worked various jobs before beginning his career as a photographer with Max Ward Delmar Studios taking school pictures. Bill met and married the love of his life, Martha Ann Hickman of Lexington, VA in 1957 and they made their home in Burlington. Bill was transferred to Birmingham, AL for a short time before moving and settling in Roanoke, VA in the late 1960’s. He, along with his wife, opened his own successful school photography and yearbook business, Bill Boswell Studios, and continued to serve schools all over Virginia until his retirement. He enjoyed doing sports photos for the local recreation departments and photographing high school sporting events for the school yearbooks.

Bill loved working with the children and was well known for all the different sounds he made to get a smile out of an unwilling child. His favorite expression was “say fuzzy pickles”.  He made sure that every child went home with a package of school photos regardless of their ability to pay. Bill made lifelong friends of school principals, teachers, coaches and staff throughout the states of Virginia and North Carolina and valued their friendship as much as he appreciated their loyalty over the years. Bill never attended any function without his camera to photograph and share memories with all. Bill also enjoyed golfing in his spare time especially with the regular “Countryside/BCC” crew. His favorite golf buddy was his brother Effie, although we never knew which one of them really “cheated” after they returned from a round of golf.

Bill was a member of Northview United Methodist Church in Roanoke for many years and then joined Shiloh United Methodist Church when he moved to Forest, VA in 2005. He was also a member of the American Legion Post 16 in Lynchburg.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife, Martha Ann “Marty” Hickman Boswell; four brothers, Richard “Buster” Boswell, C.F. (“Whitey” or “Effie”) Boswell, Robert “Bobby” Boswell, Frank Wagoner and stepfather, Luther Wagoner

Bill is survived by his daughters Kim (Danny) Miller of Forest, VA and Wendy (Rickie) Meadow of Blue Ridge, VA; three granddaughters Tori Thomas, Megan Hartless and Amanda Miller; and four great-grandchildren Becca Wheeler, Maci, Dylin and Rilynn Hartless. Also surviving are brothers Doug (Daphne) Wagoner, Vaughn (Karen) Wagoner, sisters Pat (Doug) Clapp, Emma Batts, and sisters-in-law Geneva Boswell and Jeanne Boswell. In addition, Bill is survived by numerous nieces, nephews and friends who added much joy to his life.

The family would like to express their appreciation and gratitude to all the doctors, nurses and staff working the COVID unit and CENTRA Palliative Care at Lynchburg General Hospital for their dedication, kindness, compassion and care for all of us during this time. You are all truly amazing and your kindness will never be forgotten.

A Celebration of Life will be planned for a later date. A private burial will take place at Timber Ridge ARP Church Cemetery in Fairfield, VA.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial donations be made to Alamance County Community YMCA 1346 South Main St Burlington, NC 27215 or American Legion (Post 16) 1301 Greenview Dr Lynchburg, VA 24502.

Tharp Funeral Home & Crematory, Lynchburg, is assisting the family.


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