Death of a Classmate - William Allen Boggess

William Allen Boggess, age 78, of Fort Walton Beach, Fla., passed away at Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Fla., on Nov. 19, 2009, from complications of esophageal cancer. He was born in Welch, W.Va., on Dec. 22, 1930, the son of the late Eugene Clayton Boggess and Willie Alva Otey. He was preceded in death by his wife, Diane McClellan Boggess. Bill spent his early years in West Virginia, graduating from North Fork High School. He attended Vanderbilt University before transferring and graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in engineering from the United States Naval Academy in 1954. Bill was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force in 1954. He graduated flight school, becoming a pilot in both F-86D and B-52G aircraft. He married Diane Boggess on July 23, 1960. Bill and Diane relocated to Fort Walton Beach in 1965. Bill was a member of the First United Methodist Church of Fort Walton Beach, a member and officer of Fort Walton Yacht Club, and Krewe of Bowlegs. He was a loving father and dedicated husband. His last 15 years were primarily committed to caring for Diane after she was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. Bill loved sailing, Naval Academy football and vintage jazz music. He approached his cancer diagnosis with determination and resolve, and fought it valiantly until the end. Survivors include his daughter, Dr. Eve Boggess Geis and husband Robert Geis; two granddaughters, Meagan and Sarah Geis of Jacksonville, Fla.; and son, David Boggess of Phoenix, Ariz. Graveside funeral and burial services will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 28, at Beal Memorial Cemetery. Emerald Coast Funeral Home, 113 Racetrack Road N.E., Fort Walton Beach, is entrusted with the arrangements.

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