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Dr Hamilton T. Boswell
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Birth: 1914
Dallas
Dallas County
Texas, USA
Death: May 6, 2007
Richmond District
San Francisco County
California, USA

On Sunday, May 6, former California Assembly Chaplain passed peacefully in his sleep. He was 92 years old and resided in the Pt. Richmond neighborhood of Richmond. He and his family arrived in San Francisco in the post war World War II era 1947 to assume the pastorship of Jones Methodist Church located at 1975 Post St. in the heart of the Fillmore District. In pre-Western Edition days, the Fillmore was a predominately black neighborhood and was the heartbeat of being black in San Francisco. A pioneering spirit, he joined other newcomers seeking a better life for blacks in the Bay Area: Dr. Carlton Goodlette, Dr. Daniel Collins, Attorneys Terry François, Joe Williams and Roy Cannon; Judge Joseph Kennedy, Fillmore Street pharmacist Johnson; Floyd Pierce of HUD, black labor leaders and other black activists who orchestrated change establishing a power base that got the attention of the city fathers and sometimes the ire of residents and merchants who sanctioned race discrimination in the workplace, housing, public places and in the criminal justice system. Together they wove a web of collaborative efforts across racial barriers joining interdenominational alliances with churches, labor and talented professionals. The fruit of their efforts produced a young man who won an assembly seat, became the most powerful man in the California Assembly and who ultimately became Mayor of San Francisco, the honorable Willie L. Brown, Jr. For forty years, he and his cohorts and successors would be the driving force for change and advocates of civil rights invading territories hereto-fore closed to most of their predecessors. He led his congregation beyond the church walls establishing a formidable presence in housing, labor, justice and employment. He was born in Dallas, Texas in 1914 to Warren A. Boswell, an educator and violinist and Grace L. Boswell, a social worker and concert pianist. His family moved to Los Angeles in 1920 where he attended grade school and high school. He returned to Texas to attend Wiley College in Marshall where he received his B.A. degree. He earned a Masters and PhD from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, California. After a 3-day courtship he proposed to Eleanor B. Gragg from Portland, Oregon, a graduate of Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee. They married in Los Angeles, California on December 10, 1939 and enjoyed a marriage of 68 years. His service in the clergy began in Los Angeles, California at St. Johns Methodist Church, a post he held from 1939 to 1943. He presided at Bowen Memorial Methodist Church in Los Angeles from 1943 to 1947, and served at Jones United Methodist Church in San Francisco, California from 1947 to 1976. He was mentor to his successors, Rev. Booker T. Anderson and Rev. James McCray. His involvement in San Francisco community affairs and his bay area-wide influence as a spiritual and social activist is impressive. An aggressive advocate for education and community involvement, he touched many lives and inspired youth and adults to reach their highest aspirations. He lived the social gospel of Jesus Christ through his service to his community and his ability to forge collaborative alliances across denominations and vocations. From 1953 to 1962, he was a commissioner for Juvenile Justice in California. He served as a San Francisco Housing Authority Commissioner from 1964 to 1974 serving as chairman for two terms. He founded the Jones Methodist Credit Union. He founded the Jones Memorial Homes in 1954, the first federally financed senior citizen housing in San Francisco. He has received numerous plaques and commendations from the California State Legislature for pioneering senior citizen housing. His outstanding work in public and private housing won him the coveted Civic Award of the Silver Spur. He was twice awarded the Freedom Award by the NAACP, 1972 and 1974 for his continuing advocacy of civil and human rights. He was bestowed the Human Rights Award by both the California State Senate and Assembly in 1964. He was the initial chairman of the San Francisco Conference on Religion and Race. He was Co-Chair of the Church Labor Conference, the rallying force of San Francisco's support of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He served as Chaplin to the San Francisco Police Department. In 1976, he was appointed the District Superintendent within the California-Nevada United Methodist Church conference presiding over the Contra Costa County and Alameda County jurisdiction until 1980. In 1984, he came out of retirement to serve as the Chaplin for the California Assembly, serving for 10 years, the longest tenure of an Assembly Chaplin. He was Pastor Emeritus at Jones Memorial United Methodist Church in San Francisco and continued to be an inspiration for young men and women who sought his advice and counsel in matters concerning their ministries and their personal lives. He co-authored with his daughter Eleanor a book of prayers called, Prayers for Willie, Pathways for Daily Living. In his nineties, he ministered through telephone scripture readings and prayers to people in need of spiritual encouragement. In 2006, he received the distinguished Award of Merit from his fraternity Alpha Phi Alpha for 72 years of service to that organization. He is survived by his wife Eleanor B. Boswell, his daughters, Jeri Lynn Lawrence, Eleanor Boswell-Raine; 3 grandchildren, Lorraine Fuqua, Nicole Fuqua-DeLoach and William Boswell Raine; 2 great-grandchildren, Michelle Jackson and Aubrey DeLoach and a host of nephews and nieces. 
 
Burial:
Olivet Memorial Park
Colma
San Mateo County
California, USA
 
Created by: Natalia Danesi
Record added: Dec 08, 2008
Find A Grave Memorial# 32041550
Dr Hamilton T. Boswell
Added by: Anonymous
 
Dr Hamilton T. Boswell
Cemetery Photo
Added by: countedx58
 
 
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- NWArk
 Added: Jun. 4, 2009

- Natalia Danesi
 Added: Dec. 8, 2008
 
 
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