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Graceland University Honors the Loss of One of Its Own


Alumni, Press Release

August 24, 2018

Pat Draves and Harry Ashenhurst present the Honorable Leonard L. Boswell with an honorary doctorate

Board of Trustees Chair, Harry Ashenhurst (left) and Graceland President, Pat Draves (right) present an honorary doctorate to the Honorable Leonard L. Boswell (middle) at the December 2017 commencement ceremony in Independence, Mo.

Graceland University and the City of Lamoni mourn the passing of a longtime supporter of the community. The Honorable Leonard L. Bowell passed away at the age of 84 on Aug. 17 in a Des Moines, Iowa, hospital.


Boswell dedicated his life to the betterment of our country, its people and communities. Of his many accomplishments, Boswell most loved being a farmer, operating the multi-generational family farm in Davis City for decades, and was a devoted advocate to agriculture and the agricultural business program at Graceland.


Born in Harrison County, Missouri, Jan. 10, 1934, to Melvin and Margaret Boswell, he was raised on a farm and later graduated in June 1955 with an Associate of Arts in Rural Life and followed in December 1969 with a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration from Graceland.


Boswell committed his life to three things: his wife of 62 years, Dody Boswell; his love of farming and support of the farming community – he was a member of the board of directors of Decatur County farmer’s cooperative for 14 years; and his country – he served 20 years in the United States Army and 16 years as a United States Congressman. Boswell was also a member of the Community of Christ, Graceland’s sponsoring church.


For 24 years, Boswell served the Graceland community as a member of the Board of Trustees. During Graceland’s December 2017 commencement ceremony at Community of Christ Auditorium in Independence, Missouri, his alma mater bestowed upon him an honorary doctorate for his dedication to the university and was recognized again at the April 2018 commencement ceremony held at the Lamoni campus’ Closson Center.


Boswell’s drive, commitment, passion, devotion and beaming smile will be missed. Visitation is scheduled for Friday, Aug. 24, 5-8 p.m. at Community of Christ Church in Lamoni. Funeral services will be held Saturday, Aug. 25 at 10:30 a.m. at Graceland’s Shaw Center followed by a procession to Rose Hill Cemetery with a graveside service. He will be laid to rest with full military honors.


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