Thursday, February 19, 2009
Longtime city leader dies at 84
Memorial services for former Holly Springs Utility Department general manager Thomas Boone Jr. were held Monday at Holly Springs Funeral Home. Boone died Valentine’s Day and was 84.
He was born and reared in Holly Springs, youngest son of the late Catherine and Thomas Boone Sr. He played football at Holly Springs High School and at Hinds Junior College before serving as a flight trainer in World War II.
He married Bertie Jewel Tomlinson in 1946 and studied engineering at Mississippi State University, leaving with a degree in mechanical engineering.
Boone also served during the Korean Conflict and was honorably discharged from the U.S. Air Force with the rank of 2nd Lieutenant.
He began a career with Garlock Packing in Louisville, then worked in real estate development in four states and was employed as general manager of Dunavant Enterprises, a coal company in West Virginia.
He returned to Holly Springs in the 1980s and was a part owner and editor of The Marshall Messenger. In 1987 he was named general manager of the Holly Springs Utility Department where he served 19 years.
At his retirement reception in April 2006, Mayor Andre' DeBerry praised Boone for his leadership at the utility, for building the utility and for his shepherding of employees.
He was called a man of integrity and truthfulness by his friend and retired TVA employee Cal Smith and was praised by employees for his managerial style.
“He was a good communicator,” said co-worker D. Miller at Boone’s retirement. “He was able to accomplish things seemingly without effort. He gave others opportunities to grow on the job.”
Similar sentiments were echoed by public works director Don Hollingsworth, George Humphreys, Sherry Allen, Catherine Elliott and others who worked under Boone at the utility.
For more information, see Boone’s obituary on page 2 of section one in this edition of The South Reporter.
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