Donovan “Sonny” Gene Boe, 88, of LaBarge passed away in Rock Springs on Dec. 8, 2020. He was born to Selmer and Irene Boe on Nov. 26, 1932, in Ashby, Minnesota. He enlisted in the Air Force following high school and was sent to East Base AFB (now known as Malmstrom AFB) in Great Falls, Montana, where he met and married Laura Roberts on Jan. 12, 1954.
Don was assigned to a post in England with the 582d Air Resupply and Communications Wing, flying as a Radio Operator on B29 Superfortress and Grumman SA-16 Albatross aircrafts out of RAF Molesworth, England. Although Don’s unit was identified as an Air Resupply Group, the unit’s name was deliberately misleading, as the mission of the 582d was support of special operations over Soviet-occupied territory. Don knew his missions were important and his crew would attest that they sent the right man.
Out of the Air Force, Don and Laura and their eldest daughter Pam returned stateside and settled in Cut Bank, Montana, welcoming daughter Darlene and sons Edward and Richard. Don and Laura loved their games of Pitch and Pinochle, making lifelong friendships throughout their marriage.
Don was an avid fisherman, hunter and naturalist. Later in life, he picked up golf, and was surprised at how enjoyable it was.
In 1970, the family relocated to LaBarge where Don was instrumental in building and running Golden Eagle and Silver Eagle Refinery. Don retired as an award-winning production operator for Amoco. Don served as Fire Chief of the LaBarge Volunteer Fire Department. During his retirement, he was especially devoted to growing and building the community at the LaBarge Seniors Citizens Center where he served as board member, board president, handyman, errand-runner and friend. He frequently enjoyed card games and storytelling along with a few pieces of pie.
Don generously donated to many worthy organizations throughout his life and gave of his time helping anywhere he could with friends and family. As an American Legion member, Don stayed involved in service, attending all meetings and functions, personally donating bicycles to be given away to elementary school children through the American Legion every year for 20 years. Don and Laura sponsored a family of Holocaust survivors for US citizenship and stayed in contact offering support as they transitioned to their new home.
Don stood up for what was fair and right, always. During his Air Force training in the South, a group of Black recruits in need of haircuts were denied day passes into town. Don stepped in to challenge the CO and explained that the base barbers were not providing all soldiers haircuts. He was a quiet advocate for equality, believing the work you put in and your treatment of others was the best measure of a person. This is a lesson he shared with his children and grandchildren and we were lucky to have him as our leader in this life.
Don was the oldest of six children, and is preceded in death by his wife, Laura; his parents, Selmer and Irene; his brothers, Llewellyn, Carroll, Charles; and his sister, Shannon. He is survived by his brother, Gary, of Glenwood, Minnesota; daughters, Pam (Eric) Nicholaus and Darlene (Mark) Haddock; sons, Edward and Richard Boe; ‘third daughter’ Kathy Burgen-Perrine; sister-in-law, Gail (Charles) Boe; eight grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
A viewing will be held Friday, Dec. 11, 2020, 4-6 p.m. at Fox Funeral Home in Rock Springs. Interment will be in the spring of 2021.
In Don’s memory, the family suggests serving the under-served, filling a need and playing cards with friends.
Condolences for family can be left at www.foxfh.com.