Visitation With The Family:
4:00 p.m.- 5:00 p.m. on Sunday, October 13, 2019
Olive Branch Church, 1115 Minerva Drive, Murfreesboro, TN
Celebration of Life:
5:00 p.m. on Sunday, October 13, 2019
Olive Branch Church, 1115 Minerva Drive, Murfreesboro, TN
The Service of Committal & Interment:
10:00 a.m. on Monday, October 14, 2019
Evergreen Graveyard, Murfreesboro TN
Leonora Elaine Washington, known to many family members and friends as Boe and to thousands of students and parents as Miss Boe, left this world on Sunday, October 6,2019. It's very likely that we will never see her kind again.
Boe began her nearly seventy-four year journey on this earth on November 7, 1945. Her parents, A.D. and Queen Washington were popular community figures and well-known educators. Her father served as principal of Smyrna Rosenwald School and taught 7th and 8th grades for a number of years until his shocking death in 1962 of a heart attack. Boe was a senior in high school at the time. Her mother also taught in Rutherford County and retired after thirty-six years in the school system. She and her mother were extremely close. Queen Washington passed in 2003 at the age of eighty-eight having lived a full life. Recollecting the impact her parents had on her, Boe once wrote, ''As far back as I can remember, my parents instilled in me the importance of education, respect for authority and older people, belief in God, and a love for mankind regardless of race, creed, or color."
Boe's education began at home under the guidance of her parents. She completed grades 1-8 at Cemetery Elementary. She then attended the historic Holloway High School where she made her mark. There, she was a member of the musical Glee Club, National Honor Society, cheer squad, and basketball team. She was voted "Miss Freshman", "Miss Junior", and then "Miss Holloway" in 1963. She was also salutatorian of the Class of 1963.
Following graduation, she enrolled at Fisk University but would later transfer to Middle Tennessee State University. At that time, there were only a handful of Black students there -less than ten. But Boe (being Boe) endured the hostilities, unfair treatment, and ignorant behavior of some of the students who resented
the nation's integration efforts. She graduated with a bachelor's degree in 1970 and earned a master's degree in 1985. In between those two degrees, she completed her elementary certification at Trevecca Nazarene College and entered her chosen profession of education.
Smyrna Primary was Boe's home for nearly fifty years as was the first grade classroom. While that feat same school and same grade level for that great length of time has yet to be confirmed as a record for the Rutherford County School System, it remains an incredible testament to her passion for teaching and commitment to helping students exceed expectations. The thousand plus students she taught were the beneficiaries of her creativity, professional ability, and zest for life.
Yet, while Boe enjoyed her profession, she also was engaged in the life of the community. For over thirty years, she was a faithful Daughter of the Elks and served as treasurer for a lengthy period. She was a staple at the E.A Davis Elks Lodge and was known for making the best (and perhaps the strongest) Long Island Tea around. Additionally, she was a long-tenured president of the Evergreen Graveyard Society, a member of the NAACP, and a supporter of community causes. Boe also enjoyed line dancing, aerobics, collecting photographs, and cutting-up with most everyone. She also loved taking care of her dogs and cats. In years past, she was an ardent supporter of baseball games played in the Little Hope community. She Was the worthy recipient of many professional and community awards and honors.
Throughout her life, Boe was quick to speak up for right regardless of who was being wronged. She believed that too many were oppressed and she would not allow it to just happen without a fight. Twenty- seven years ago, she revealed, "It doesn't bother me to be a victim of society as long as justice prevails. I am accustomed to being alone, standing alone, and being treated differently because my accomplishments and aspirations have not been common. I detest dishonesty, negative manipulation, deception, and racism." As a student of history and Black history particularly, Boe was happy to help lead and support the efforts that eventually produced the Hilltop-Rosenwald Park in Smyrna. The park's main road is named after her
trailblazing father, A.D. Washington. The picnic area bears the name of Lottie Sublett, Boe's aunt. The pavilion is named in honor of her cousinLeonard "Mooney" Richardson. Photographs of other family members are on display inside the park's main building.
With regards to her Christian faith, Boe loved the Lord and was an active member of Stones River United Methodist Church where her father had also been a devoted member. Boe served the Lord with gladness
at her church in many capacities including singing in the choir and leading the youth group. She was often the first person to arrive at the church. "Through all endeavors, I'm thankful to God for allowing me the opportunity to make a difference in lives,just as a ifference was made in mine," she confessed.
Boe never married and had no children. However, she was a mother to many in her family, community, and school. She was fiercely independent and strongly believed in people doing for themselves and not being
dependent on handouts from others or the government. "I take pride in the fact that I am happily single, not a parent, own my home, can afford some pleasures oflife, take care of my business, and do unto others as I want done unto me," she noted.
Boe leaves many relatives on both the Washington and Richardson sides of her family to mourn her passing, remember her legacy, and learn from her life's many lessons. Those relatives include Desinda King Malone (aunt) and Anthony Eugene King (uncle). Boe's close kin cousins include David Windrow, Dennis Windrow, and B.A. Windrow. Other cousins include Shirley Young, LaRue Chaney, Valeria (Derrick) Windrow-Whitlow, Vincent (Stacy) Windrow, Carla (Clifton) Hancock, Willetta Windrow, Muriel Glimps,]oel (Joy) Windrow, Stanley Windrow, Cynthia Windrow, Karen (Terrence) Spivey, Tony (Haven) Windrow, Brianna Windrow, and many more that Boe loved and who loved her.
She will be missed by her colleagues and former students who were popularly known as the Cool Cats. On her Rutherford County Schools website profile, she wrote, "Welcome to the Home of the Cool Cats! I am
dedicated to making a difference in your child's education. If we communicate regularly and support your child, much progress will be made. I look forward to helping students reach their potential and working
beyond expectations." Well done, Boe; well done.