Remembering Joseph Sanford “Sandy” Boone

Obituary: a news article that reports the recent death of a person, typically along with an account of the person’s life and information about the upcoming funeral. An obituary is much too simple to define the great man that was Joseph Sanford “Sandy” Boone. Sandy was a monumental force within his community. Please join us in remembering him for his contributions to make Springdale, Northwest Arkansas and the U.S. a better place to live.

Thank you Sandy Boone. You will be greatly missed.

(Obituary: Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette, April 3, 2016)

Joseph Sanford “Sandy” Boone, age 93, died March 31, 2016. He was born Feb. 15,1923, at home in Springdale to Percy Wayland “Doc” and Harriet Adaline Ewalt Boone. He graduated in the Springdale High School Class of 1941 and then attended the University of Arkansas as a business administration major. He began playing drums as a young child and was a member of the University of Arkansas Razorback Band. There he was a member of Sigma Nu fraternity.

He began serving in the Army Air Forces in 1943 during World War II. He and Morris Clarkson of Springdale were recruited as drummer and pianist for an army band. In 1946 he was honorably discharged as a classification specialist.

On Nov. 19,1947, he married Juanita Jean Ledbetter, the love of his life. The ceremony took place in the First Methodist Church where he would later serve on the Board of Trustees and numerous building and finance committees.

Shortly after returning home from the service, he helped his father develop Maple Drive. This was the first restricted residential area in Springdale for post-war housing. Sandy grew up in a home on the southeast corner of Maple Drive and Maple Avenue. Younger years were spent hauling buckets of water to keep the maple trees alive that his dad had planted on both sides of the street.

In 1947 Sandy opened Sandy’s Men’s Store on Emma Avenue. Unfortunately the store burned in 1949. He then bought Penrod’s Cafe on Emma. After renovating the building and renaming it the Hitchin’ Post, he operated the cafe until it sold in 1953.

The Boone Insurance Agency was established in 1952. This operated as a proprietorship until 1957 when he and James Ritter entered into a partnership and formed the Boone-Ritter Insurance Agency. They sold the business to Larry Clinkscales in 1987.

Sandy joined Fred Schroeder in 1957 and began building. In 1959 Schroeder retired and Sandy founded Original Homes, Inc. He hired a talented building crew and Lorene Morris as bookkeeper. Lorene was his dedicated employee for 54 years and remained a lifelong friend. His hobby of sketching house plans and attention to detail resulted in custom homes and office buildings built all over the northwest Arkansas area. Some of his projects as land developer, designer and builder include the Sandy Heights Addition off West End Street and the San Jose Manor on Emma.

A member of the Springdale Planning Commission, he was active in the Urban Renewal revitalization of downtown Springdale. He helped organize the Northwest Arkansas Homebuilders Association and served two years as president. For eight years he was a director for the National Association of Home Builders.

Sandy was a member of the boards of directors of the First State Bank (1973-1993) and the Springdale Memorial Hospital (1974-2001).

In 1975 he was named Citizen of the Year by the Chamber of Commerce for his outstanding civic service and leadership promoting the economic development of our town. He was a Chamber member for many years and past president.

The Pioneer Citizen Award for distinguished service was given to him in 1988 by the Springdale Jaycees.

He joined the Springdale Kiwanis Club in 1947 and was president 1975-1976. A life member, he worked on numerous committees throughout the years. He was given the George F. Hixson Fellowship Award in 1999 and the Tablet of Honor in 2013.

Sandy’s love for horses began as a young child riding his pony to school. 41 years (1947-1987) were spent serving on the Rodeo of the Ozarks board (Springdale Benevolent Association). Countless weekends were spent driving in caravans or riding in parades in the surrounding states to promote the Rodeo of the Ozarks and Springdale.

In 1951 a dare between Shorty Parsons and Sandy resulted in a 200 mile horseback ride. With Shorty as Marshall and Sandy as General Manager, riders left the Madison County community of St. Paul and arrived in Little Rock six days later. As a result, the Northwest Arkansas Cavalcade was born.

He was an organizer of the Washington County sheriff’s posse known as the Springdale Mounted. Patrol and later formed the Junior Mounted Patrol for children. He was also past president and member of the Springdale Riding Club.

The Pasadena Tournament of Roses Association invited the Boones to represent the state of Arkansas in the 1957 Rose Parade. Later realizing the girls did not meet the minimum age requirement, he was paired with actor and stunt rider Montie Montana. Sandy rode his black and white spotted horse Ruby. His western suit was embroidered with jeweled razorbacks surrounded by apple blossoms.

In the early 1960’s the family began showing horses in the Pinto Horse Association of America. In 1962 he had the world champion pinto horse in the stock horse division.

Seeking excellence in confirmation, he was one of nine spotted horse lovers and friends that cofounded the American Paint Horse Association in 1962. He had the national champion reining horse three years and seven national champions. Today the APHA is the second largest equine association in the world with over one million horses registered and members from S9 nations and territories.

In 1972 he began working with the Miss Rodeo America Pageant. He was a director of International Rodeo Management from 1972-1987, president 1979-1981, and CEO. The Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce honored him with the “Top Hand” award for western hospitality and promoting tourism in the OKC area.

His quick wit, outgoing personality, and willingness to work earned him friendships of all ages that spanned the United States. The common thread between all of them was the love of horses.

Sandy was preceded in death by his parents, one sister Wanda Lea Cram (Dale), and one nephew Clyde Derrick “Derry” Wallis.

Survivors include his loving wife of the home; daughters Koni Jo Power of Broken Arrow, Okla., and Sandye Lea Graham (James) of Springdale; grandchildren: Dr. Philip Justin Power (Nicole) of Edmond, Okla., Heather Leigh Leclerc (Frederic) of Pooler, Ga., and Preston Lee Power (Dr. Jeannette) of Tulsa, Okla.; great-grandchildren: Samantha Elise and Benjamin Taylor Power; Leo Graham LeClerc; and Ezra James, Evan Scott and Amaya Louise Power.

The family wishes to extend their sincere thanks to Shiloh Nursing and Rehabilitation LLC and Circle of Life Hospice for the tender loving care Sandy received in his final days.

Visitation for Sandy will be Monday, April 4, 2016 from 5 to 7 p.m. at First United Methodist Church in Springdale.

Memorial services will be Tuesday, April 5, 2016 at 11 a.m. at First United Methodist Church with Rev. Judy Van Hoose officiating. A private graveside ceremony will be held at Bluff Cemetery before the service.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to FUMC Foundation (First United Methodist Church), 206 West johnson Avenue, Springdale, Ark. 72764; Circle of Life Hospice, 901 Jones Road, Springdale, Ark. 72762; or Shiloh Museum of Ozark History, 118 West Johnson Avenue, Springdale, Ark. 72764.

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