Veteran’s compassion served husband’s ministry well
For Vivian Boak and her family, the opportunity to honor those in the military who served and died for their country, was considered their most important day of the year.
On Memorial Day, Mrs. Boak and her children would accompany her husband and their father, the Rev. Dr. Gordon Boak, to cemeteries where he would conduct services and honor those who served their country in the armed forces.
Vivian M. Boak of Grove City died on Thursday, May 26, 2011, in Grove Manor, Grove City. She was 93.
“Both my parents served in the Army during World War II and were thankful that they served,” said Bonnie Lewis of Latrobe. “And they never forgot the sacrifices of the men and women who gave their all for their country.”
As a member of the Women’s Army Corps, Mrs. Boak, who had two brothers in the service, was assigned to Moore General Hospital in Asheville, N.C., where she would wait for the trains bringing wounded GIs from Europe and assign them to the proper treatment centers.
Mrs. Boak’s concern and compassion for others would continue in the years after her discharge in 1945 and her marriage to Gordon Boak a year later.
“My parents first met when my mother attended services at the Venice Presbyterian Church (in Washington County), where Dad sang in the choir,” her daughter said. “It was then that she decided that he was the one for her.
“And although they both went their ways during the war, they were quickly reunited after the war.”
In the years after his ordination as a Presbyterian minister, her husband served congregations primarily in Western Pennsylvania, including Monroeville, East Main in Grove City and Glenshaw in Shaler.
“My mother had the ability, the compassion and graciousness to become a minister’s wife,” Lewis said. “She was always by his side. My mother could be strong willed when necessary and had high expectations of everyone, especially her children.”
Born in Sturgeon and raised in coal-mining towns, where her miner father was employed, Vivian DuCarne graduated from Hickory High School in Washington County in 1934 and attended the University of Pittsburgh.
She was employed by Brody Furniture Store in Canonsburg and Joseph Horne and Lazarus department stores in Pittsburgh.
Mrs. Boak served in volunteer roles in the communities where she lived and was one of the early volunteers and president of the board of the New Wilmington Home for seniors.
In addition to her daughter Bonnie, Mrs. Boak is survived by her son, Bruce Boak of Pittsford, N.Y.; daughter Betsy Craig of Grove City; and five grandchildren, Joshua Boak, Meredith Boak Christides, Jonathan Lewis, Katherine Lewis and Gordon Craig.
Mrs. Boak was preceded in death by her husband, Gordon, in 2004 and her siblings, Salvador and Elmer DuCarne and Betty Lou DuCarne Small.
Visitation will be from 10 to 10:30 a.m. Tuesday in Canonsburg United Presbyterian Church, 112 West Pike St., Canonsburg, where a service will begin at 10:30 a.m. Interment will be in Forest Lawn Gardens.
Funeral arrangements are by Beinhauer-Bogan.