Dr. Thomas Neville Boschert, 90, of Duncan, died at his home on October, 26, 2020 with family members present. Because of Covid-19 precautions, a family-only graveside burial service will be held on Friday, Oct. 30, 2020, in the Oakridge Cemetery in Clarksdale. Meredith-Nowell Funeral Home in Clarksdale, Mississippi handled the arrangements.
Dr. Boschert graduated from Duncan High School in 1946 and attended the University of Mississippi where he received his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1950. While at Ole Miss, Dr. Boschert was a member of the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity.
He married Eva Ann Dickins Boschert, his wife of 65 years, in 1952 and they had three children, Ann, Neville and Curtis.
After college, he enlisted in the United States Air Force and attended Officer Candidate School at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas. After his tour of active duty during which he taught Ground Radar at Keesler Air Force Base, Dr. Boschert served in the Air Force Reserve for many years and obtained the rank of Major.
After concluding active duty in the Air Force, in 1955 he returned to Duncan and followed in the footsteps of his father and grandfather to farm cotton and soybeans with occasional crops of oats and wheat for 30 years. While farming, he also operated the Duncan Grain Elevator for a period of time.
Dr. Boschert was active in the Duncan Baptist Church where he served as song leader, deacon and trustee for over 50 years. He served as Town Clerk for the Town of Duncan for over 30 years.
His passion was history. He received an Award for Outstanding Achievement by the Freedoms Foundation of Valley Forge in 1968 for his paper entitled “A Free Ballot-A Free Country.” He was Chairman of the Duncan Bicentennial Committee in 1976, President of the Bolivar County Historical Society from 1976-78, and President of the Mississippi Historical Society in 1984.
After 30 years in agriculture, Dr. Boschert decided to change career paths and follow his passion. He returned to Ole Miss where he earned his Masters of Arts in History and then his Doctor of Philosophy in History in 1995.
Dr. Boschert was a history professor at Delta State University where he developed a close rapport with his students. He taught courses in Mississippi History, the American Presidency, African American History and U.S. Diplomatic History. According to a colleague, his Mississippi History class was “legendary.” He was awarded the Mississippi Humanities Council 2009 Teacher of the Year Award. He served on the Mississippi Humanities Council Speakers Bureau for many years and spoke throughout the State on a myriad of historical topics.
He enjoyed genealogical research and compiled a wealth of family history. He and his wife Eva Ann made multiple trips to the hometown of his great-grandfather, Oberkirch, Germany, a quaint town near the Rhine River and on the edge of the Black Forest, where he connected with Boschert relatives and documented direct ancestors back to the 1400s.
Dr. Boschert was an accomplished pianist and he and Eva Ann played and sang at the Duncan Baptist Church and at many events throughout the Delta area.
He was a member of the Big Eddy Fishing Club near Rena Lara, Mississippi where he grew up fishing with his grandfather. He enjoyed attending Ole Miss and Memphis Grizzlies basketball games.
Survivors include his daughter Ann C. Boschert McNeal (Bill) of Clay, Ala.; sons Neville H. Boschert (Betsy) of Ridgeland and Curtis D. Boschert (Barbie) of Duncan; grandchildren Thomas H. McNeal, John McNeal, Carl Boschert, and Katherine Boschert; great-grandson Liam McNeal; niece Kimberly Boschert Phillips; nephew Dr. Kenneth Raymond Boschert; and several cousins.
He was preceded in death by his parents Thomas Mauldin Boschert and Edith Raymond Boschert, sister Edith Lucille Boschert, brother Harry Raymond Boschert, sister-in-law Linda Funk Boschert, and wife of 65 years, Eva Ann Dickins Boschert.
The family would like to extend a special thanks to his caregiver and special friend Ezella Burks.
Memorials may be made to the Duncan Baptist Church, PO Box 115, Duncan, MS 38740 or the Dr. Thomas N. Boschert Memorial Scholarship, Delta State University Foundation, DSU Box 3141, Cleveland, MS 38733.