Our Dear Friend Debbie Boen Is Alive and Well In Our Hearts

by RoxyRegionalTheatre on September 20, 2013

At 7:30 on a Saturday morning, I got the call I was dreading and, at the same time, praying for. My dear neighbor, Jill Eichhorn, phoned to say our mutual friend Debbie Boen had passed.

Debbie was a good soul and an old soul, a great wife, a grand mother (in both senses of the word). She, her husband David, and their son Randall have, for the last decade or so, made the Roxy their extracurricular activity. As I walk through our cramped basement, I cannot pass a prop or set piece not built or painted by Jim McDonald, Amber Wallace, Clare Coyle Taylor, Gene Wolf, Al Collins, or David and Randall Boen.

Debbie was a unique artist in her own right, a naturalist. Nature was her medium, for she used found elements from nature for her unique and beautiful three-dimensional art pieces. She had a great respect for nature and, in particular, Dunbar Cave and its environs.

Debbie was also a yellow dog Democrat, a staunch activist for human rights, a pacifist and an active member of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Clarksville.

She did it all and still found time to act in numerous Roxy productions. Debbie was even persuaded to sing a solo in one, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. She was no Sarah Brightman, but she could sell a song with a comic twist and stop a show as well as Nancy Walker.

I had said to David that Debbie had raised three wonderful children. (Actually, she had two — Randall and Gwen — but I’m including her husband.) Then I said that I had helped raise one, and David thanked me for the fine job I had done on him (he being the third child).

I was in fact referring to their son, Randall, who began with us in our Parks and Rec summer theatre program and continued with Saturday class, acting in various productions, graduating college, and pursuing his doctorate.

Their daughter, Gwen, led a non-theatrical life and was virtually unknown to us until she married John and produced Abigail, the Boens’ first grandchild. That grandchild was, for Debbie, the cherry on top of it all.

I have written “was” a lot, where I should have said “is” — for Debbie is alive and well, living in our hearts, thoughts and happy memories.

Our 31st season is well underway after a successful Frolic on Franklin and a grand Gala, filled with a packed house of devoted supporters who dined on a gourmet meal by The Bound’ry, complemented with fine wine from our own Beachaven Winery. A plethora of fine art was auctioned with great expertise by F&M Bank’s Sammy Stuard, after which our guests experienced a slice of Spamalot, which continues its run through October 19. Show times are at 7pm on Wednesdays and Thursdays (no performance next Wednesday, October 25) and at 8pm on Fridays and Saturdays, with a 2pm matinee this Saturday.

See you at the theatre!

[John McDonald]

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