Deacon Joseph Orion Boone, 85, of Rocky Mount, beloved husband and best friend of Genotre Penny-Boone for 22 years, passed away peacefully on Sunday, May 19, 2013.
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He was predeceased by his sister, Dorothy Deloris Boone and a step-son, Charles Anthony Penny. He was also predeceased by his parents Samuel and Luetitia Boone formerly of the White Oak Community in Halifax County.
Deacon Boone, better known as OJ, was born on September 27, 1927 in Halifax County. He has been a faithful and dedicated member of The Church of the Open Door-Baptist since 1990 where he served diligently as Co-Chairman of the Deacons, Deaconess and Trustee Boards. OJ loved his church and also served as the Sunday School Superintendent, an active member of the Men of Valor auxiliary, a melodious baritone singer in the Church Choir, a leader on the Prayer and Praise team, a steward of the offertory appeal and in many other areas of the church's ministry.
Having retired from his profession as the school principal at Enfield Middle School, OJ, who had been a leader in education for over 40 years, loved to spend his leisure time out on the golf course. He formerly held the position of principal at schools in Hobgood, Scotland Neck and Hollister, NC after having been a classroom teacher for 10 years.
OJ was an excellent student himself as he completed his early schooling at the White Oak Rosenwald School and Eastman High School in Enfield. He was the high school class president, president of the senior class and president of the Student Government. He continued his education at North Carolina A&T State University where he earned his degree in Education. Classified as a World War II veteran, OJ served his country as a 1st Lieutenant in the US Army. He also served during the Korean Conflict (1951 - 1954) in the 18th Airborne Corps out of Fort Bragg, NC. After completing tours of duty in Germany, Korea, Guam, and Okinawa, Japan, Lieutenant Boone was honorably discharged in 1958.
He was a life-time member of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, an active proponent during the Civil Rights Era and a member of the Enfield Chapter of the NAACP.
In addition to his wife, Genotre, OJ is survived by his sons: Ronald (Linda), Joseph (Wanda) and Terry (Gloria); daughters: Jalilah (John), Phyllis (Harold); and step-daughters: Valerie (Thomas) and Vanessa (Michael). Loving memories are also left for 15 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.
The family would like to express their sincere gratitude to the members of OJ's healthcare team. Their loving care and attention over the last 2 weeks were a heartwarming blessing to the entire family. We thank God for the gift of his life and the blessing of the time we spent with him.
The funeral service will be held honoring Deacon Boone on Friday, May 24, 2013 at 12:00 p.m. at The Church of the Open Door-Baptist located at 132 South Glendale Avenue. The Rev. Dr. Nesbitt E. Spruill will officiate. Burial will be at Old St. Elizabeth Cemetery in Enfield at the convenience of the family. Visitation will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday at H. D. Pope Funeral Home in Rocky Mount.
H.D. Pope Funeral Home - Rocky Mount
325 Nash Street
Rocky Mount, NC 27804
Published in Rocky Mount Telegram on May 23, 2013