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John Henry Boswell April 4, 1925 - June 30, 2019

John Henry Boswell

April 4, 1925 ~ June 30, 2019

John Boswell was born in Flora, Illinois to Charles and Fanny Wyman Boswell.  He lived in the San Fernando Valley as a child.  He served in World War II as a Navy Corpsman in Guam and Okinawa.  After the war, Johnny married Virginia Buerge on August 22, 1946.  He attended Biola University, where he graduated after 3 years.  Johnny’s first pastorate was in 1949 at Denair Missionary Church.  He became director of Youth for Christ in 1954 and ministered in Turlock, Modesto and the Sacramento area until 1969.  While in YFC he received many letters of commendation, including National Rally Director of the Year and Key to the City of Sacramento.  In 1958, John brought Rev. Billy Graham to Turlock for one of his crusades.

He also had many opportunities to serve in foreign countries.  Johnny received a BBS degree and a Masters of Theology, as well as an Honorary Doctorate.  In 1969, he accepted the pastorate at Grace Church in San Luis Obispo, where he ministered to many college students.  Johnny served in several churches as an interim pastor before retiring and returning to Turlock in 1983.  He continued his ministry by speaking many years at Covenant Village in Turlock.

Johnny is survived by his two children Charles “Chuck” Boswell (Judi) and Nancy Hastain (Tom); four grandchildren Lisa, Rodd, Jason and Jodie; six great grandchildren Shadon, Spencer, MaKenna, Aden, Kendall and Payton; sister in law Verna Buerge and many loving friends.  He was preceded in death by his beloved wife Virginia in 2015 and his father, mother and brother.

Funeral service will be held at Calvary Baptist Church in Turlock on Saturday, July 13, 2019 at 9:30a.m. with burial to follow at Turlock Memorial Park.

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  1. Judy Steiner says

    I went to Grace in SLO while a student at Cal Poly in the mid-70s. I always marveled at how Pastor Boswell would seamlessly weave an altar call into each sermon – a true evangelist! I made an appointment to see him one day – he didn’t really know who I was but I needed clarification about “Chain of Command” from Bill Gothard days. His wise counsel on changing from chain of command to chain of counsel as I got older really helped. But what I found most intriguing from that conversation was that as he was getting to know me a bit by asking questions and listening to my story, he told me (after I told him that I drove a Pinto station wagon) that he believed God was preparing me to be a pastor’s wife. Mind you, I wasn’t dating anyone at the time and was really content being single. Well, it was prophetic for sure. I have been married for almost 41 years to a pastor! Johnny Boswell had an impact on my life and I am forever grateful that God led me to worship at Grace during my time in SLO.

  2. Cheryl Montgomery Cline says

    Oh Dear Johnny, A blessed man to our families through the years! Did many family funerals for the Snider’s and Montgomery’s! Had so much memories and fun with him at Denair Missionary Church and church camp in the 50’s! He will be missed! May God bless your family with peace in the coming months!

  3. Fred Inabnit says

    A tribute to “Johnny Boswell”.
    This is to offer a tribute to the memory of Rev. John Boswell who left this life on June 30, 2019.
    For many of us in my generation “Johnny” was always a positive influence in our daily lives. His numerous youth activities met our needs on a day to day basis regardless of our own church or non-church affiliation. Everything from the weekly brown bag lunches in the old nurse’s home on Canal Drive near Turlock High to the larger monthly Youth for Christ rallys some where in the county always provided meaningful motivation in our young lives.
    In the years that have passed whenever I have heard the name of “Johnny Boswell” pleasant memories are recalled. I shall always be grateful for the positive impact this fine man had on my generation.
    Fred Inabnit ““ Turlock High School class of 1955

  4. Liane Roser says

    Dear Boswell Family, My dear YFC director and fellow employee of Turlock EFC, I want to express my joy at Johnny’s homegoing as it appeared in the paper today. He was always such a blessing in my life. Every day as he came to the office, I would ask “How are you today”, His standard answer would be, “finer than frog’s hair!” May God’s wonderful arms of love and grace envelope you during this difficult time of loss. Love in Christ, Liane Husby (Beauchamp) Roser

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