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Jessie Kelley Boyett (08-17-2017)
Photo of Jessie Kelley BoyettJessie Kelley Boyett of
Bernice, Louisiana, at 66
years of age, passed away
on Thursday, August 10,
2017 at her home surrounded
by those who loved her.
She was born on February
11, 1951 in Borger,
Funeral services were
held at 2 p.m. on Sunday,
August 13, 2017, at Pisgah
Baptist Church. Bro. Jeff
Hurst officiated. Interment
followed at Pisgah Church
Cemetery under the direction
of Farrar Funeral
Home of Farmerville. Visitation
was held from 5-8
p.m. on Saturday, August
12, 2017, at the church.
As a child, Jessie attended several schools, but she
started out at Bernice Elementary and began friendships
that would last forever. She moved around with her family
while her father was in the oilfield industry, but Bernice
was always home to Jessie. She graduated from Jennings
High School in 1969 and will forever cherish her friendships
with her precious Coterie group whom she loved
dearly. While in high school, Jessie was involved in numerous
clubs and groups and especially loved the drama
group and talked a lot about the plays that she was cast.
She married her sweetheart, Kent Boyett, the month
after she graduated on a Monday night before he left for
Vietnam. Kent and Jessie enjoyed a trip to Hawaii and
lived in Washington for a short time while he was in the
service before coming back home to Bernice where they
would make their home.
Over the years, Jessie worked at The Garment Factory
and Bill’s Dollar Store in Bernice, sold Sarah Coventry
jewelry and insurance, but her favorite job of all time was
of course being the owner, editor and publisher of The
Banner News. She began working at the paper office as a
reporter and as an ad salesman in the late 90s, and when
the paper was up for sale in June 2001, she purchased it,
and this was the start to her 16 wonderful years as the
owner. When she bought The Banner, the first thing she
said is “I will never charge anyone for obits,” it was her
way of helping families during their time of sorrow.
She has met hundreds of people during her lifetime
that meant so very much to her. She cherished the friendships
that she made along the way, absolutely loved
doing for others and made sure The Banner News highlighted
those around our area that needed to be honored.
She was involved in numerous organizations, including
BIDCO, Bernice Business Club, Union Parish Tourist
Commission, CMA – Christian Motorcyclist Association,
The Union Parish Chamber of Commerce, Ladies For Vets,
Bernice Service Club, Corney Creek Festival, Crimestoppers,
BSA – Boy Scouts of America and was the Charter
Rep for Troop 54 of Farmerville. Yes, she had a hard time
saying NO, but she loved being involved.
Over the years, while owning The Banner News newspaper,
she won numerous awards and was honored with
several certificates. Just a few of these awards are: In
2002 she received a Recycling Award from Trailblazers;
In 2005 The Banner received a certificate of Appreciation
from the American Legion; In 2009 The Banner received
a Communication Award; She was the chairman of the
Union Parish Chamber of Commerce in 2011; chosen
as the 2013 Hall of Fame Inductee for the Corney Creek
Festival and Town of Bernice; and in 2017 she was chosen
as the Outstanding Citizen by Woodmen Life and the
Business of the Year Award was given to her at the Union
Parish Chamber of Commerce banquet earlier this year.
She was a member of Pisgah Baptist Church where she taught
Sunday school, worked with youth groups, worked with the
AWANA program and numerous other things over the years.
She even went on a mission trip to Peru several years ago.
Jessie was preceded in death by her parents, John ‘Jim’
and Dorothy ‘Dot’ Kelley and her sister Mary K. Smith
and Brother in Law Walter, all of Bernice.
Jessie is survived by: Her husband Kenneth Boyett of
Bernice; a daughter Danielle Harkins and husband
Eric of Bernice; two sons
– Aaron and wife Charla
of Bernice and John and
wife Amanda of Parkers
Chapel, Ark; five grandchildren
– Nathon and Kailee
Harkins of Bernice,
Tori Boyett of Bernice and
Sawyer and Payton Boyett
of Parkers Chapel, Ark.;
numerous nephews and
nieces, great nephews and
nieces and a few greatgreat
nephew and nieces.
Pallbearers were the members
of VFW Post 5442 –
Jimmy Odom, Doug Upshaw,
Tony Nolan, Jerry
Ramsey, Mike Reeves and
Steve Barrett. Honorary
Pallbearers were the ladies
of Women For Vets
– Lynn Ramsey, Brenda
Odom, Margaret Reid, Beth
Scott, Judith Tabor, Camille
Gates, Aleida Hutto,
Michelle Tucker, Jamie
Hearn, Betty Slocum, Rosie
Tucker and Johnnie McKeithen.