Leonard Boswell ’50

The Reverend Leonard Griffin Boswell died on Friday June 12, 2020 at the age of 92. He died as he lived, with grace, cheerfulness, and gentle kindness.

Born in 1927 in Newborn, Georgia to Griffin and Mary Boswell, he grew up in Greenville, South Carolina, and Jacksonville, Florida. He was raised in the Presbyterian Church, to which he devoted his entire life. He was active in the Boy Scouts, and achieved the rank of Eagle Scout.

After high school, he enlisted in the Navy, where he served for two years as a medical corpsman. He then attended Davidson College and was graduated from Emory University. He obtained a master’s degree from the Presbyterian School of Christian Education (now Union Presbyterian Seminary) in Richmond, Virginia.

He accepted a call to Beacon Hill Presbyterian Church in San Antonio, and while there, he met and married his beloved Jane. He served in Fort Worth as Director of Christian Education in the Central Texas Presbytery for seven years. He and Jane raised two children, both born in Texas.

In 1963, he moved his family to Atlanta to become Secretary of Christian Education for the Presbytery of Atlanta. He attended Columbia Theological Seminary and was ordained as a Presbyterian minister in 1968. He retired from the Atlanta Presbytery in 1992. Leonard was a devoted son, husband, brother, father, and grandfather, much beloved by his family.

His life was a shining example of Christian love and service. Teaching and preaching at many Presbyterian churches, he also conducted weddings and funerals for friends and relatives.

He and Jane were faithful members of Decatur Presbyterian Church for more than fifty years. Leonard filled his retirement with volunteering and travel. He and Jane took many trips to Europe and the Holy Land, with grandchildren as occasional companions.

Well into his eighties, he and Jane traveled with Honduras Outreach, helping with construction and improvements in the villages of rural Honduras. For as long as they were physically able, Leonard and Jane delivered Meals on Wheels every Wednesday, taking their grandchildren with them.

He leaves behind his devoted Jane, daughter Elizabeth Belcher, son John (Liza), grandchildren Madison (Katie), Will, Louisa, and Lilly, and great granddaughter Elizabeth Ann, his sister Mary Evalyn Wilson, brother-in-law Bill Dobson, and many nieces, nephews, and cousins.

He was preceded in death by his parents, his son-in-law Carlton Belcher and sister Fran Dobson. Because of COVID-19, a memorial service will be held at a later date when circumstances permit.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you consider making a donation to Decatur Presbyterian Church, Honduras Outreach, Inc., or Union Presbyterian Seminary. A. S. Turner & Sons, Decatur GA

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Published in Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Jun. 21, 2020.