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Boggs Strong Echoes in Eternity

By Staff | Apr 6, 2016

Photo provided Firetrucks created an arch by downtown Middlebourne last week to honor Matt Boggs, a former 911 Dispatcher, who united a community.

SISTERSVILLE Soon after a Tyler County man died last week and was laid to rest week, several people offered fond memories about him.

Matthew “Matt” Scott Boggs, 36, of Middlebourne passed away March 29 at home surrounded by his family after a courageous battle with liver cancer. See Boggs’ obituary on page 2. He was a Tyler County 911 Dispatcher and Founder of Boggs Pizza and Grill. He attended Indian Creek Southern Baptist Church. He was an avid fisherman. He also loved to hunt, trap and coach youth sports.

Tyler County Sheriff Deputy Shannon Huffman spearheaded a recent basketball game between law enforcement officers from Tyler and Wetzel counties. The event was a fundraiser for the Boggs family and was held just a few days before his passing. Hundreds attended the game at Tyler Consolidated High School. Tyler won, but so did the community.

“As for Matt’s character, Matt was a person who said what he thought and meant what he said,” Huffman said. “Matt was a loving husband and father. He was a friend and co-worker. Matt’s impact on this community has been like nothing I have ever seen. Matt taught this community several things during the course of his illness. He taught us to ‘love hard’ and to never take a moment of life for granted.”

Huffman said Boggs taught his friends, family and the community everyone – to “fight with everything we have.”

“Matt never gave up,” Huffman said. “He showed us what it means to believe in something and fight for it.”

Boggs was a man of faith.

“Lastly and most importantly, Matt showed us to have ‘faith in God,'” Huffman said. “Matt united an entire community together for a purpose. This purpose turn out to not only be a fight against cancer, but a community learned to love on another, to care about one another and to fight for one another. Even though Matt’s life was shorter than most, he had a lifetime of impact on the people who knew him.”

Tyler Schools Superintendent Robin Daquilante had praise for a man she described as a role model.

“Matt was the kind of young man you wanted as a role model for all young boys,” she said. “He was always kind, pleasant, and most importantly respectful of others. He was a great supporter of our students and our athletic programs as are the entire Boggs family. Tyler County is truly blessed.”

“Boggs Strong” was a familiar mantra in the community among many people who wore shirts emblazoned with the saying or those who shared the saying via social media memes. Jessica Kile posted on the Tyler Star News’ Facebook feed that her young daughter considered Boggs to be like the Man of Steel.

“My 3-year-old saw a picture of him wearing a Superman shirt while having a round of chemo and she said, ‘He Superman’. I thought that summed him up pretty well,” Kile said. “Even though he may not have been able to see through buildings, he showed just how strong he was till the very end. And he didn’t let this awful disease keep him from living.”

Reverend Bill Dawson, a longtime familiar face in Tyler emergency/firefighter community, had kind words for Boggs.

“He was an all American guy,” Dawson said. “He loved his family, loved his community, enjoyed helping others and lived his Christian faith for everyone to see. The first responders in Tyler County loved Matt and was grateful for his work through the 911 center. Matt was a true professional and treated everyone with integrity, be it paid EMS or Law Enforcement; or volunteer fire fighters/EMS.”

The Wade family, who have strong ties to the area fire departments, offered these sentiments about Boggs.

“Really, there’s no words that can explain what kind of person Matt was. He was a tremendous person – loving, caring. I’ve (Iimmy) known the Boggs family ever since my first day of school. He never had a bad thing to say about anyone. No matter how his day was, he always had a smile on his face and never complained once. He loved his family and friends. But he also loved his job and did a great job doing what he loved. The people of this county will all miss him a lot. Thanks Matt for everything you’ve done for the community. To all the Boggs family, you are in our thoughts and prayers. We love you all.” The note was signed by Jimmy, Stacey, Briana and Logan Wade.

Boggs was born July 28, 1979, in Glen Dale, a son of Rodney Boggs and Kimberly Myers Boggs.

“His mother and I were classmates,” said Peggy Sue George of Middlebourne. “I remember the day he was born and hauntingly enough now I will remember his death as the day before his mothers birthday. It’s a sad situation, that has kept us all informed of his good days and his bad days, making all feel the joys and the lows of his battle, making it seem like we were all family and a part of his life. Especially since my daughter and him were also classmates. All of Matt’s wonderful character has been stated by many.”