Aug. 22, 1936-March 4, 2020
Well known educator from Calcasieu Parish and resident of DeQuincy went to meet his Lord and Savior March 4, 2020, with his wife by his side at the Care Center of DeQuincy. Willard Theodore Booty was born in the Kisatchie-Bellwood area Aug. 22, 1936, to Hollice and Joyce Booty. He graduated Salutatorian from Kisatchie High School in 1954, from Northwestern College, Natchitoches, in 1957, and received his M.A. degree from McNeese University, Lake Charles.
Willard began his career in Gillis, La., in 1957. He and the love of his life, Beverly Lane Conner Booty, married in August of 1957. Willard then taught in Moss Bluff and then in Westlake, La., where they purchased their first home. He taught at S.P. Arnett for 12 years. He was appointed in 1970 as the assistant principal where he split his day among the DeQuincy Middle School and DeQuincy Elementary. Upon Mr. Adcock’s retirement he was appointed principal of DeQuincy Elementary for eight years. Willard taught and served as assistant principal and principal all of his 30 years in Calcasieu Parish. He also taught night classes at Phelps Correctional Facility in DeQuincy for two years.
Willard accepted the Lord at Kisatchie Baptist Church and served as music leader in his teens and into his college years. He was ordained a deacon at Northside Baptist Church where he and his family attended serving for 23 years before moving to First Baptist Church of DeQuincy in 1994.
Willard was best known for his avid fishing. He loved bass fishing, then catching big catfish on Toledo Bend Lake. In 2002 he won the Amateur Side Tournament, winning a new boat, motor and trailer. His greatest joy was taking his two sons, Kevin and Travis, hunting, fishing, water skiing and camping on Sam Rayburn and Toledo Bend.
He loved sports and began the first Jr. High basketball league in Calcasieu Parish. No pay then, but he and his wife, Beverly drove their team in their Mercury to play all over the area.
Willard was honored twice for valor for putting himself in danger to rescue others. In 1959, he rescued a baby from a fire at a fireworks stand. On Sept. 17, 1958, a jet from England Air Base lost power and crashed in the school yard at Gillis High School, landed on a house and pinned the owner at her sewing machine. He saw it from his classroom window and ran across the street, went into the home and rescued the owner. He was honored by the United States Air Force for exceptional courage and humanitarianism.
He is survived by his wife of 62 years, Beverly Lane Booty; sons, Kevin Booty and wife Sherry of DeQuincy and Travis Booty and wife Paula of Jasper, Texas; three grandchildren, Kayla, Nika and Kaitlyn; three great-grandchildren, Madi Elyse, Myiah Claire and Harper Estelle; his brother, Terry Booty and wife Betty of Shreveport; sister-in-law, Johnnie Mae Booty of Leesville; and numerous nieces, nephews and other family members, classmates and friends.
He is preceded in death by his parents, Hollice and Joyce Beasley Booty; brother, Roland Booty; nephew, Jonathan Conner; and mother- and father-in-law, Beverly and Kenneth Conner.
The family would like to thank two very special people for their loving care, his nurse with hospice, Jake Rainwater, and his aide, Ms. Shelia Mahaffey along with all of his Heart of Hospice team, Laura, Chuck, Judy and Dr. Fuqua. Also, our own Care Center of DeQuincy for each one there that showed their loving care and help to make his stay as comfortable as possible. A special thank you to the Acadian Ambulance team for their quick response when needed and safe handling and care in transporting him. Also, we would like to thank Dr. Joudeh and his staff for their care.
We are so grateful to our pastor, Bro. Gil Arthur, for dear family and friends that came to visit with him, brought food, for the many calls and visits from students, especially Barry King, and his special teachers at DeQuincy Elementary for the calls, cards and visits.
Also, a special thanks to former classmates of Kisatchie, Ed Bolton, the late Carol Mondello and family, Oran Wade Taylor, and Barbara and Jr. Dowden.
The family will receive friends starting at 4:30 p.m. Friday, March 6 with the funeral service at 6:30 p.m. at Riley Smith & Sons Funeral Home, 1810 West Fourth St., DeQuincy. A graveside service will be at 11 a.m. Saturday, March 7 at Booty Cemetery, Kisatchie.