More detail on this person: Leonard Leroy Boswell was born on January 10th, 1934, in a farmhouse in Harrison County, Missouri to Melvin Doc and Margaret Vivian (O'Connor) Boswell. He left the physical world on August 17th, 2018, after battling a prolonged illness. Raised in rural Decatur and Ringgold Counties in Iowa, Boswell graduated from Lamoni High School in 1952. Later he also graduated from Graceland University. Boswell was drafted into the United States Army in 1956, thus beginning a long and distinguished career. He was a "mustang", an enlisted man who later earned a commission as an officer, a fact that gave him great pride. Trained as a helicopter pilot, Boswell twice volunteered to serve in the Vietnam War where he led hundreds of combat missions. In Vietnam, Boswell earned two Distinguished Flying Crosses and two Bronze Stars for valor. However, he was most proud of earning the Soldier's Medal, the highest honor a soldier can earn for saving someone's life in a noncombat situation. After retiring from the Army in 1976, as a Lieutenant Colonel, Boswell returned to his beloved southern Iowa to farm. Quickly becoming a community leader, Boswell was encouraged to run for political office during the Iowa farm crisis. In 1984, Boswell was elected to the Iowa State Senate. In 1992, his colleagues in the Iowa Senate elected him their President. He served a total of 12 years in the Iowa Senate. He developed a reputation for leading the body in a bipartisan manner and, with others, helped broker numerous pieces of landmark legislation that continue to influence the lives of millions of Iowans to this day. Along with businessman and philanthropist, John Ruan, Sr., and Governor Terry Branstad, Boswell played a pivotal role in getting the World Food Prize funded and the headquarters moved to Des Moines in 1990. In 1996, Boswell was elected to serve the Third District of Iowa in the United States House of Representatives. As a U.S. Congressman, Boswell worked tirelessly on behalf of farmers and veterans. Boswell served in Congress for 16 years until 2013. A lifelong Democrat, he was never afraid to work with others and put the interests of Iowans above all else. After leaving Congress, Boswell was appointed by Governor Branstad to serve on the Iowa Transportation Commission. He also dedicated much of his retirement to serving on the Board of Trustees of Graceland University and bringing attention to our nation's debt crisis through the Concord Coalition. Boswell continued to serve on the Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial Commission. The Memorial will be unveiled on the Mall in Washington in 2019, and will inspire future generations with Eisenhower's devotion to public service, leadership, integrity, and democracy. Of all of the numerous awards and honors he received, he was particularly humbled by being inducted to the Hall of Fame at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, where he was both a student and an instructor. On September 2, 1955, Boswell married Darlene "Dody" Votava of Independence, Missouri. Together they raised three children, Diana, Cindy, and Joe. Boswell also loved dearly his daughter Terri, from a previous marriage. Boswell was a member of the Community of Christ Church, where he served as a presiding elder for numerous years. He was very dedicated to his church and faith. Boswell is survived by his wife Dody, daughter Terri (Victor) Bruun, daughter Diana Boswell Redford, daughter Cindy (Greg) Brown, son Joe Boswell and CC Carnahan, and his favorite (and only) sister La Rita Boswell. Furthermore he is survived by his eight grandchildren, Jason Fuller, Jeremy Bruun, Cory Bruun, Brookie Lee Boswell Glaser, Joshua Boswell, Mitchell Brown, Taylor Bruun, and Matthew Brown. He also leaves seven great grandchildren and one great, great grandchild. He is preceded in death by parents, Melvin and Margaret Boswell, and his brothers, Melvin "Sonny"Boswell and James "Jimmy" Boswell. He lived a full life that embodied the American dream and lived a life of service to his country, his family, and his community.
This information was last updated 09/14/2018
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Date posted on this site: 01/20/2024
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