Retired Judge Bennie Boles is remembered as compassionate, fair and 'one of the best'
Graveside services for retired 123rd District Court Judge Bennie Charles Boles will be held 2 p.m., Saturday at Oaklawn Memorial Park in Center.
Boles 84, passed away Wednesday in Center. People who knew him over the years called him a man of character and one who cared deeply for his community, his church and family.
Retired dentist, Dr. John C. Rogers, said he grew up with Boles.
“We were on the high school football team together. I centered him the football to him, I was the center and he was the quarterback” at Center High School, he said.
“He was one of the best,” Rogers said. “I'd known him since grammar school when his dad had a cafe on the east side of Center.”
Rogers said the two each served as Scoutmasters for different Boy Scout Troops at the same period.
“He was alright, all around solid,” Rogers said. Lynda K. Russell, an attorney in Center, said Boles was sitting on the judicial bench when she first got her license to practice law.
“As a new greenhorn attorney he was very helpful and thoughtful for me,” she said. “I had my first jury trial before him, he was fair and always helped out.”
Russell said he was good at providing professional advice when she might have slipped up as a new lawyer. But, she said, he always did so discretely so as not to embarrass her.
“He was just such a wonderful person, very compassionate and was very good for this community,” Russell said. Once he retired from the 123rd District Court, she said Boles volunteered doing missionary work and served as visiting judge when needed in counties across Texas.
Boles was born in 1934, in Center, to Bennie Paul Boles and Rosa Lee Lock Boles. He graduated from Center High School and attended Sam Houston State University on a football scholarship. He earned a Business Degree at Sam Houston and was a member of the 1955 Lone Star Conference Championship team.
After college, he served in the United States Army for three years. Later, he earned a teaching certificate and Master in Education, teaching and coaching in Center, Nederland, and League City, Texas.
He received his Law Degree from the University of Houston and was a lawyer for many years in Center before becoming District Judge for the 123rd District Court of Texas, over Shelby and Panola counties.
He served four terms as District Judge and was a visiting judge in Dallas, Houston, and many counties in East Texas for many years afterward.
Boles was active in the First Baptist Church of Center and was a lifelong member. He served as a Sunday school teacher and a Boy Scout leader for many years.
After retirement, he served as interim pastor for several churches and most recently was interim pastor of Truitt Chapel Baptist Church. He was a member of the Texas Baptist Men’s Church Ministries, where he helped and served churches throughout the United States and other countries, leading others to Christ.
Survivors include his wife, Lessie Anita Boles of Center; daughter, Deborah Ann Boles of Center; niece, Virginia Permenter of Center; nephews, Randy Carrol and wife, Delisa, of Center, Jeff Young and wife, Deborah, of Center; great niece, Mallory Permenter; great nephews, Richard Pinkston and wife, Elizabeth, of Center, David Young and wife, Lauren, of Conroe; stepbrother, Ralph Edward Campbell of Center; numerous great great nieces, nephews, other family, and a host of friends.
Preceded in death by his parents, Bennie Paul Boles and Rosa Lee Lock Boles Campbell; sisters, Shirley Louise Young, Reba Boles, Rita Boles.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to Texas Baptist Men, First Baptist Church, or a charity of choice in Judge Boles’ honor.