Gabby Carlson & Chrysa Keenon | Co-Editors in Chief
Leland Emerson Boren passed away the morning of Nov. 23.
According to the statement emailed out by President P. Lowell Haines, Boren passed away peacefully in his sleep. He was able to spend time with his 100-year-old sister prior to his passing.
Boren was a very successful businessman. According to the Chronicle-Tribune, he has been president, chairman and chief executive officer of Avis Industrial Corporation for the last 35 years, after it merged with the company Boren was president of, Upland's Pierce Governor Company, Inc.
Boren was a member of the Taylor and Upland community in more than one way. He brought a multimillion dollar company to the community and invested in several Taylor presidents. According to the Chronicle-Tribune, Boren donated to many individuals and organizations, as backed many student and administration efforts at Taylor. However, throughout it all, Boren wanted to remain anonymous.
President Emeritus Eugene Habecker spoke about his friendship with Boren.
"In my years of travel, positions of leadership, and interactions with many distinguished leaders in many parts of the world, Leland Boren was one of the most amazing persons I've ever met," Habecker said. "He was an encourager, he was a wise confidant, and he was never shy about challenging me to do better . . . He modeled all of the attributes of grace, strength, hope, perseverance, courage, hospitality, and joy in his personal life from his personal disciplines and habits to the stewardship of the financial resources with which the Lord entrusted him. Whether over the multiple meals we shared together or simply along the way, Leland was always teaching, always exhorting, always gracious. Simply put, he made us better persons and me a better president."
Habecker explained how his favorite chapel service was when Boren and musician Bill Gaither let Habecker interview them as they showed the audience of students the importance of generosity in their lives.
Students may recognize the name "Boren" as the name of the LaRita Boren Campus Center. Boren was married to LaRita for many years, and according to the Chronicle-Tribune, Boren would consider marrying LaRita the greatest accomplishment in his life.
"We rejoice that he is now with his loving wife LaRita and in the presence of the Savior he loved," Habecker said.
LaRita passed in February 2011 after a brief illness. He had the barns down the road painted pink for her, when she said she missed the Oklahoma sunset's reflection on her childhood red barns.
Boren held four honorary doctorates from Taylor University, Ball State University, Indiana Wesleyan University and Anderson University and a degree from Ivy Tech Community College.
"As I mentioned in my prior message, despite our loss, we praise the Lord with hearts filled with thanksgiving for Leland's life and ministry among us," said Haines in an email. "We ask your continued prayers for the family and for all who knew and loved him."
- Visitation will be held at Avis Industrial Corporation headquarters, 1909South Main Street in Upland, on Friday, November 30, 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and 4:00-7:00 p.m.; and again on Saturday, December 1, 10:00-11:00 a.m. prior to the funeral service at Rediger Chapel/Auditorium on Taylor's campus.
- The funeral will be held at Rediger Chapel/Auditorium on Saturday, December1, 11:00 a.m.
- Interment will be at Jefferson Cemetery for immediate family only.