Samuel J. Boatwright Jr. Samuel Joseph "S.J." Boatwright Jr., 80, of Keene, died peacefully at his home on Wednesday, September 4, 2013. He was born in Esmont on November 24, 1932, on Thanksgiving Day while his father was out turkey hunting. He always celebrated his birthday on Thanksgiving Day, no matter the date. His parents were the late Samuel Joseph and Dorothy Allen Harris Boatwright. As a boy he loved sports, hunting and fishing, and spending time on the mountain with his grandfather. He graduated from Scottsville High School and enlisted in the United States Navy. He served aboard the U.S.S. Hailey during the Korean Conflict and earned two battle stars. He circumnavigated the globe and loved to reminisce about his days on ship. While in the Navy, he took a side trip to see the Concord Bridge and met his wife of 59 years, Margaret "Peggy" O'Connell Boatwright. They were married while he was on shore leave on January 2, 1954, in Lexington, Massachusetts. S.J. and his family moved back to Esmont, in 1963, from Oxen Hill, Maryland. Along with Clarence Massie, he began the construction company of Massie and Boatwright. They built many of the homes in Scottsville and the surrounding area for over 30 years. He enjoyed politics and was very proud of his work with George Allen throughout all of George's campaigns. He loved to tell the story about how he went to a Tupperware party in Esmont, and convinced all of the women to promise to vote for George. George won by that exact number of votes the next day. He took pleasure in sharing that he was a registered Democrat that worked for Republican candidates. He always supported the person who he thought was the best choice for the office. He never missed the opportunity to sit at the polls in Scottsville on Election Day. S.J. served on the Boards of Trosdale Home for Boys and Pine Knot, Theodore Roosevelt's cabin in southern Albemarle County. He was responsible for the first restoration of the cabin. He loved sitting at Lumpkin's Restaurant early each morning and drinking coffee with the regulars. He was also dedicated to his church, St. Stephen's in Esmont and its former Pastor, the Reverend Peter T. Way. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his brother, Andrew; his sister, Frances; and a special nephew, Vance. Survivors include his beloved wife, Peggy; his daughters, Lynn and husband, Daniel Brenig, and their daughter, Esther, of Esmont, Diane and husband, Tony Pullaro, and their sons, Nicholas and his wife, Trista, and Dakota, all of Esmont, Beth Faulkner of Charlottesville, and Jeanne and her husband, Dan McGheehan, and their children, Samuel and Danica of Faber. The family wishes to thank Hospice of the Piedmont for all of their kindness and care over the past two weeks. It is greatly appreciated. The family will receive friends from 6 until 8 p.m. Friday, September 6, 2013, at Thacker Brothers Scottsville Funeral Home. A funeral service to celebrate his life will be conducted on 11 a.m. Saturday, September 7, 2013, at St. Stephen's Episcopal Church in Esmont. Interment will follow in the church cemetery. All friends are invited to the Scottsville Fire House following the services to join the family for a time of food and fellowship while sharing and remembering S.J.'s life. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the S.J. Boatwright Memorial Fund, 146 James River Road, Scottsville, VA 24590 to be used for the reopening of St. Stephens Episcopal Church. Family and friends may share memories and photos at www.thackerbrothers.com
This obituary was originally published in the Daily Progress.