In Memoriam - 12157 Wayne Boone

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“For the benefit of those who were not able to make the funeral for Wayne Boone, you will be pleased to know that the memorial service was extremely well attended - literally standing room only.   Along with a large number of family and friends, there was a very eclectic mix of his peers from all walks of life, not at all surprising knowing Wayne.  Many of his biker buddies, the Blue Knights and Canadian Army Veterans, came to show their respect and not only provided poignant opening and closing poems (Rider Down) for the padre to read, but also a very moving escort to the internment.  The Class of 79 was likewise well represented with I am guessing about 30 classmates, including both Tom and Walt who had quickly cleared their calendars in order to be there.  The Military Police community was also out in full force, as were those he worked with on infrastructure security matters.  Finally, there were many staff and especially students from his Carleton University courses on infrastructure protection.

 Sherain provided a wonderful eulogy of her husband, including some tender and amusing insights in to their personal life together but acknowledging in the end that Wayne was always "soldier first".  Pete Avis and Guy Killaby, close friends of his since their 6 Sqn (Brant) Recruit Flight days, both provided touching, and often hilarious stories about their lifelong friendship, all the while choking back a few tears along the way.  Cannot remember all the stories, other than one about a hitchhiking trip along the California coast, which included being picked up by a very kind "Aquarius" couple who later offered the unsuspecting hitchhikers some apparently very tasty brownies.  Tom also took a moment to add a few kind words.  He talked about meeting Wayne's father, a pig farmer and a bear of a man, back in the early days and mentioned how much like his father he had become later on, with his beard and the like - he also surprised us by revealing how he had always secretly hated their 6 Sqn chant, but only because it was so much better than the others.  Col (Retd) Tony Battista, representing the MPs, remembered meeting Wayne for the first time at the MP school in Borden and being so relieved that he would not have to be his Unarmed Combat partner.  Finally, a fellow professor made us all laugh when she mentioned that she knew her very young son had been influenced by his conversations with Wayne when, after she asked him to do something, he unexpectedly replied "Roger that, Mom!" 

 In many ways, it was the eulogy from one of his Carleton students that probably caught most of us off guard, because theirs was not the traditional professor/student relationship.  He provided many heart warming anecdotes about this unconventional giant of a military man, with a gruff exterior but soft soul, who had been a mentor, a protector, and a caring and loyal friend to all of his students.   He was very emotional throughout his eulogy, in part because Wayne had apparently promised to come to his farm that very weekend.  When Wayne did not show, he wondered if maybe he had had some other more important things he needed to do, but of course it was much worse.  Sherain came up to the podium to comfort him after that, knowing he probably felt guilty in some strange way, but he composed himself and managed through his tears to joke about Wayne's proclivity to use military terms such as "Roger that" and "Seen", and to abruptly stop mid-sentence and scold himself with "Wrong!", before correcting himself.  He told us that he was literally wearing a shirt Wayne had bought for him out of his own pocket, because Wayne told him could not be going around looking like a "dishevelled 1970s gigolo".

All in all, it was very heart warming to see such an outpouring of support, knowing that it was for a man who had lived a good and eventful life and touched so many in his all too short time on this earth.”

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Eulogy for Booner – 26 June 2015

“Good morning to all.  I am Peter Avis and this is Guy Killaby, long-time friends and college buds of Wayne Boone.  We are honoured to be given the opportunity to eulogize our dear friend – Booner.

If I were to write a story about life in our times, Booner would likely be – like a new-age Jack Kerouac – the hero and protagonist of the story.  Wayne, who was always full of life, ready for adventure, game for new challenges, and super-keen to meet new people, would fill the pages with colourful tales.  As a bit of a story-teller myself, you could say that he became my muse over the 40 years I have known him.

Riding into our life at eighteen on his motorcycle (apparently without a licence!), Booner positively strutted into room 149 in six squadron at the Royal Military College – he was tall, skinny, and had a brush-cut which had tan lines that revealed that this was his usual hair-cut.  He took one look at me (who had no such tan-lines) and immediately challenged, “my name is Wayne.  What does your father do?”  Unused to such a brusque introduction, I countered, “my name is Peter.  You first, what does your father do?” Booner furrowed his teenaged brow and gave me an intense, piercing glance, “my father is a pig farmer,” he proclaimed.  And I rejoined, “well that’s just fine, my Dad writes dictionaries!” Not entirely satisfied with this exchange, Booner continued the examination, “Ok, what is your favorite music band?”  I immediately responded, “the Beatles of course!”, to which he proudly stomped and laughed, “mine is Dylan!!”  And I concluded, “thank goodness – we can relax now, the Beatles love Dylan!”

And so we started.  It was soon apparent that Booner felt a burning need to teach me all the Dylan song-lyrics that he knew – so he sang me to sleep each night for the rest of the recruit camp.  Against all odds, we became joined at the hip.

Wayne was a natural at academics with a keen intellect and an intense and energetic approach to all challenges.  His degree from the college was in political science; but I truly think that his love for learning French (with the wonderful interactive approach that our teachers and friends, Suzanne and Jacques, espoused) is what got him through the toughest parts of being a cadet.  

However, it was his yearning for adventure and the road that allowed him to blow off steam through his regular escapes on his bike when he would escape, explode, and rebel outside of the college confines.

During the summers, we would all be sent off to various parts of Canada to carry out military training to become officers. After our training one year, Booner and I decided to strike out during our free time on a “Woodie Guthrie” hitchhiking trip from Victoria down to San Francisco and back.  Once into the U.S., our eyes were opened to the myriad of radical ideas and lifestyles that make up the west coast of America. Booner was in heaven – high adventure, strange peeps:

Adventure #1:  ’57 Chevy, Smoke-filled, Rainbow Hawk and Little Wing – Rainbow Gathering (50,000 hippies – documented) – delicious brownies – Booner gained new respect for all walks of life seeing their impressive organization.

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Adventure #2:  Troy/Wife/Baby – fleet back truck with a flush cargo box in back.  Sleeping bags and belts – from Oregon to Sacramento – at night -- northern California hills – Mach two on turns -- tears in Booner’s eyes – he only paid $5 for the belt buckle! – we sang Dylan’s “Subterranean Homesick Blues” 27 times at the top of our lungs.  Mortality was a serious consideration.

From these learning experiences, Wayne went off to Army training, parachuting, military policing, and computer security.  These early experiences would lead him to excel at his second and third careers. As always, Booner was self-assured, intense, at times infuriating, uproariously funny, loyal, protecting, and giving.  Whenever I was in trouble, Booner was there to help me out. I found him, frankly, to be somewhat larger than life, as I am sure that his family did as well.

I will pass the baton now to guy who will continue the saga.  Booner – like an Owen Sound Huckleberry Finn who traded in his raft and the river for his Harley and the highway -- Wayne lived life to the fullest.  He added colour to my life – and to many others.

He was my muse – I will miss him terribly.  A vous, Guy.”