COLUMBIA — William Boles was called "dad" by more than his own children.
One of his customers at the N.H. Scheppers Distributing Company, where he worked as a salesman and in public relations, called him "dad" because she could talk to him about her problems and he would always listen.
"He would take time to sit and talk to people," his wife, Nancy Boles, said.
William "Bill" Boles died Friday, May 10, 2013. He was 67.
Mr. Boles was born July 1, 1945, in Leslie to Edward and Martha (Ware) Boles.
He married Nancy Haase on Aug. 31, 1966, in Gerald and lived in Franklin County before moving to Columbia in 1976, where he worked for N.H. Scheppers Distributing Company for 35 years. After retirement, he continued to work 30 to 40 hours a month.
"He couldn't stay away from it," Nancy Boles said. "He enjoyed being out with the customers and people that much."
Mr. Boles played semi-professional baseball with the Washington Buds and two other teams in Franklin County. After moving to Columbia, Mr. Boles continued playing softball and coached Little League in Harrisburg. He tried to teach them all he knew about baseball. When he could no longer play, he found an equal love with golf. He also continued his passion for fishing and hunting.
Every fall, Mr. Boles, Nancy Boles and their son, Tony, went back to Franklin County for a week to fish in local ponds and visit relatives. They caught at least 200 fish each trip, Tony Boles said.
"We all had a very good time visiting with everyone and fishing," Nancy Boles said.
Mr. Boles loved entertaining people and would invite all his friends to fish fries and barbecues. He never liked to cook a small amount and would always cook too much food, his wife said.
Living north of Columbia in a small country community, Mr. Boles developed strong relationships with all of his neighbors, Nancy Boles said. When new families moved into the neighborhood, he was always the first to welcome them and make them feel like part of the community. When a neighbor needed help, he was glad to assist in any way possible.
When the weather was nice, Mr. Boles and his wife would sit at a picnic table under a hickory tree in their front yard and wave at everyone driving past.
"He was just a super outgoing, friendly guy that loved to be with people and help other people," Nancy Boles said.
He also found ways to help people through his church, Dripping Spring Christian Church. Every Easter, Mr. Boles would help cook and serve the Easter buffet breakfast to members of his church after the service. It was one of his favorite things to do, Nancy Boles said.
Mr. Boles is survived by his wife, Nancy; son Tony and his wife Tracy of Clarksville, Tenn.; daughter Chris Elefson and her husband Brad of Indianapolis; brother Jim Boles of Sullivan; sister Pat Lueker of Leslie; and grandchildren Ryan, Dylan and Tyler Boles and Kyle and Sarah Elefson.
Memorial services will be held 2 p.m. Saturday at Dripping Spring Christian Church, 2701 W. Dripping Springs Road. Inurnment will be at a later date at Woodman Cemetery in Leslie.
Memorial contributions can be made to the American Cancer Society, 1900 N. Providence Road, Columbia, MO 65202 or Dripping Spring Christian Church, 2701 W. Dripping Springs Road, Columbia, MO 65202.
Tributes can be posted at parkerfuneralservice.com.