Mike Boulware was a man of his community, farm and, of course, his family.
He will be remembered and missed greatly by his daughter, Jody Miller, and two sons, Stephen and Troy Boulware, as well as his eight grandchildren: Peyton, Blake, Reese, Nolan, Landon and Lila Boulware; and Corynne and Cade Miller.
"One of my favorite memories is watching him be a grandpa," Jody Miller said. "He was just so much fun for them. He'd take them riding around in the truck or the tractor, check cattle, he was just amazing."
Mike was born on April 15, 1952, in Fulton to parents Woodrow and Jalie Boulware. He attended North Callaway High School where he met his wife, Brenda. The two were married July 27, 1973, and had 48 memorable years together.
"When I met him I was still 13, and I got a crush on him," Brenda Boulware said. "And I was extremely shy and being around him as I grew up he changed me a lot. I learned to overcome being shy because Mike didn't have a shy bone in his body basically. He was so outgoing."
Their freshman year was the first year of North Callaway High School. There were children from the Hatton, Williamsburg and Auxvasse. Since it was a mixture of different schools, no one knew one another.
"Us meeting each other freshman year was very interesting and unusual because of the school situation," Brenda Boulware said. "We had a lot of classes together that year. My maiden name was Austin so we sat together in four classes a day and one locker between us. So it was kind of an inevitable situation. It didn't have to last for 55 years. We dated for seven years and married for 48."
Mike was a member of the first freshman class of North Callaway High School and the district has always held a special place in his heart. He served on the North Callaway School Board for six years during which times he organized support from local churches and organizations to hold Baccalaureate. He was also a supporter of North Callaway Athletic Boosters, A Plus Advisory Board, and was the 1995 Grand Marshall of Homecoming. Mike went to work as a loan officer at The Callaway Bank following graduation from MU, spending his entire 47-year professional career with them, most recently holding the position of Vice President of Business Development.
A 1970 graduate of North Callaway High School, Mike was class salutatorian and Student Council president and participated in numerous activities, including FFA, football, track, 4-H and National Honor Society.
After high school, Mike attended the University of Missouri-Columbia where he graduated in 1974 with a B.S. in Agricultural Economics. He was MU's first ever agricultural banking summer intern for college credit. During that time, he became a member of Alpha Gamma Sigma fraternity and Alpha Zeta Agricultural Honorary.
Since graduation, he worked at The Callaway Bank where he was hired to be their first loan officer specializing in real estate loans, also making loans for agricultural and commercial purposes. In 2001, he became the bank's Business Development officer and later the vice president.
Farming was also a part of his life. Mike managed the family farm of 490 acres, which consists of 130 acres of corn and soybeans, with the rest devoted to hay and pasture for 80 cows and their calves.
"He'd get up at 5 o'clock in the morning, feed the cows, put his suit on underneath his coveralls, come back in after, take the coveralls off and then get in his truck and take the back roads looking for deer on his way to work and do that all fall," Stephen Boulware said. "He really loved his cattle, and would never get rid of them."
"That's the crazy thing," Troy Boulware said. "We list all these things he's doing all this while taking care of a hundred of cattle."
Mike was a lifelong member of Pleasant Grove United Methodist Church in Hatton. He sang in the choir, taught Sunday School and served as Chairman of the Administrative Board and Cemetery Association.
When it came to the community as a whole, there was hardly an organization or group that he wasn't a part of. He enjoyed being involved in his community where he could interact with his fellow Callawegians. He was on the Boards of Callaway Community Hospital, Industrial Development, SERVE (Past President) Ecumenical Ministries, North Callaway Senior Citizens (Past President), Callaway County United Way (Chairman and Campaign Chairman), Fulton Board of Associates (Past President), Soil and Crops (Past President). He was also a Past President of Fulton Rotary Club; Kingdom of Callaway Supper President; Kingdom of Callaway Chamber of Commerce Ambassador. Mike was a member of the Kingdom of Callaway Historical Society and a founder of the Annual Tractor Drive. He was also a member of University Extension Council and honored to be added to the Extension Leader's Honor Roll of the University of Missouri.
In 1998, Mike was awarded the American Business Women's of America's Associate of the Year. He was also honored with the J. H. Atkinson Award from the Kingdom of Callaway Chamber of Commerce in 2000, the Conservation Award in 1982 and was honored as "County First Year Male Leader of the Year" by 4-H.
As a family man, Mike was deeply involved in the lives of his children. He led the Hatton 4-H Club Outdoorsman Project for three years and was awarded the Outstanding First year Male Leader. He coached little league baseball and softball, and YMCA basketball and flag football for many years. He also organized and ran a "traveling team" basketball schedule, including tournaments, for three years.
"A great memory of him when I was younger," Troy Boulware said. " Was he helped Bob Hogan coach teams called the Fulton Sting, and we'd be on those teams. I just remember dad helping. He'd go pick up boys who needed rides and bring them home. It was pretty cool for a country boy like me to be riding around time with him watching him help and pick up these kids and take them to practice and then home."
"Yeah I didn't think anything of it at the time, but it was pretty cool," Stephen Boulware said.
Many people have told the family they hope they can raise their family the way Mike did.
"He taught me how to be a family man and put a priority on raising your family and making time for them," Troy Boulware said. "He checked all the boxes you'd want in a dad."