John W. Boshard, 1948 ~ 2015

John W. Boshard
1948 ~ 2015
Memorial Service

Pueblo City Park Near the Tennis Courts, Tuesday, March 31, 2015

My name is Nick Boshard; I am John’s older brother. I want to thank all of you who have come to celebrate the life and times of John William Boshard.

While some might look at my brother’s life path and conclude he never grew up because he was much the same when he passed away as he was in 1967, he was far too complex to fit neatly into any life stereotype.

Of all the Boshards that trace their family roots back to Provo, Utah, John was the most intelligent and introspective. As he grew up, things came so easy to him that at times he seemed aloof to everyday living.

John drifted through his life with a kind of easy grace. He excelled in any sport that captured his fancy and if his grades were lackluster at times, he could excel in any subject that held his interest.

Long before the sixties, John developed a healthy skepticism of all forms of authority and if he had a life plan, it was to evade any external control of his life by avoiding organizational structures and institutions that existed to wield authority.

In his later life, none of the jobs he subsisted on had any relationship to his college history degree (he worked as a hospital security guard, construction worker, optical worker) but in each of these jobs, he remained off the “organizational grid” and therefore was invisible to any higher authority.

An e-mail from his best friend in high school Larry Christensen, best captures the complex and elusive nature of John:
“There are only two friends in my life that I consider natural philosophers -- one was in elementary school in St. George and the other was John Boshard. John was far ahead of the rest of the usual high school rabble and he had such a great sense of humor about everything. I deeply regret that I have not stayed in contact with him. I tried unsuccessfully to track him down quite a few times and could not get him to respond and understand completely but I have never doubted that he is living his life the way he feels he should.”
In an article Larry wrote about my brother, he made some other insightful observations about John:
“He understood his classmates who suffered from overdrawn ambition because he had a gentle obsession himself: tennis. 'You have to understand how the thinking goes,' he told me one day. 'If there is the slightest chance you might become the best person in the world at one thing, then you have to go all out for it.'

“John cheerfully sat and slept through hundreds of hours of Seminary instruction while he attended Brigham Young High School. It was clear that John believed in God, but I remember him explaining cheerfully that he believed in the same God that Lincoln did -- a God who superseded organized religion.”
John went to Pueblo in the late sixties and early seventies to play on a tennis scholarship for Don Mackintosh, who was a former tennis coach for a rival high school team in American Fork, Utah.

While John finally did get a B.A. degree in History several years later, he never left Pueblo and was playing tennis almost to the day of his death.

Among those tennis players he has coached and the parents of younger players he worked with, John was regarded as one of the best coaches and tennis minds around.

He has nurtured a number of state and nationally ranked players and has taken his place in the historical tennis lore of Pueblo and Southern Colorado.

John did all of this without ever having a telephone or ever pressing the start button on a computer!

If you encountered John in the past 45 years, you would have found a person not particularly ambitious but a kind and unassuming man well liked by those who knew him.

John might best be characterized as a kindly mystic who had an obsession for tennis.

During his years in Pueblo, John worked in construction, for a group of ophthalmologists, and for a hospital. However, tennis was always his main source of enjoyment and financial support.

John’s personal life during all those years was one of the best kept family secrets because he never discussed it.

While I spent years worrying about what was going to become of John because he never had that “Mormon Drive” for materialism and status, I finally came to view my brother as a rather successful person in that he did exactly what he wanted to do with his life.

I have fond memories of my brother who got in trouble with his ophthalmologist bosses for giving free eye glasses to poor people and who cared for many stray animals over the years.

John was a uniquely kind and humane person rare in this age of greed and hucksterism.

I have always been proud to call John my brother even as I have been a little sad at times that he did not fare better economically in life.

No snapshot of my brother’s life would be complete without a summary of his tennis exploits. John was the number one singles player for BY High in all of his high school years. He went to the state tournament in each of those years.

He received a scholarship to play tennis in Pueblo and played first and second singles on his team from 1969 through 1971.

While I was not a good enough tennis player to mentor him and he never received the professional coaching that would have carried him to the next level, he could, when his competitive fury was sparked, beat just about any opponent who walked on the court.

John’s Pueblo family was really the hundreds of school children he coached and mentored over his long tennis career.

John had a big heart and a good word for all. He was ever the champion of the underdog and he will be sorely missed by his family and many lifelong friends in Pueblo.

As I visited John in Pueblo through the years, I came to the conclusion that this wonderful community was a perfect fit for John. He never wanted to live anywhere else.

Finally, for those of you that have a image of John as a rumpled old bald headed man limping around the tennis courts, I would say that John was a stunningly handsome young man. One girl who was enamored with John, described him as a "Greek God.”

See some of the pictures we have displayed of John when he was young and healthy and remember him that way when he was in total command on the tennis courts.

~~Nick Boshard

Messages Remembering John

Shana Vail-Passarelli

John was probably the most selfless, humble man I've ever had the pleasure of knowing. His knowledge of the game of tennis and of so many varied subjects, never ceased to amaze me. As one of my college tennis coaches, we would "pick his brain" on long road trips, whether it was Trivial Pursuit, cards, or homework, John had a knowledge base and patience that never ceased to amaze us. He would spend endless hours drilling, or feeding balls, expecting nothing in return, while educating me about the game and teaching me to keep my emotions in check while on the court. When our children were born, we decided if tennis was in their future, John would be the only one to instruct them. And he lovingly and patiently did just that through nearly 18 years. John we will miss you dearly, but we know that you're finally running around pain free and debating all the great mysteries of life up in heaven! Rest in peace.

Janet and Steve Manes

John took our kids, as well as many other Pueblo kids, under his wing. His obvious goal was to instill a love for, and knowledge of, the game of tennis. He taught our kids at the Pleasant View courts in the summer. I asked him if he knew someone who would teach Janelle how to score a game/set/match so she could play in a junior tournament. His reply was, basically, "When can she meet me at the PCC courts?" He worked with her for two hours, at no charge. He later taught Janelle, Kellie and Nathan how to teach tennis as they taught with/for him at PV, and Janelle coached at County and East.

John, along with Ed, Norm and many others, instilled the love and knowledge of tennis in so many Pueblo kids. He accomplished this with patience, kindness, encouragement and humility....and that ever-present smile.

Our condolences to his family and friends. John will be sorely missed.

Chase Williams

John was my tennis coach entering high school, and up through my junior year. He was a great tennis coach and mentor, and he was always there to encourage me to do my best. He was an awesome person and always had a positive outlook on everything. Thank you for everything coach and you will be missed very much. My family and I express our deepest sympathies, Rest In Peace John. --Chase Williams and the Williams Family

Joe Concialdi

When John first came to Pueblo for college, I was a promising young junior tennis player. Although only in junior high, John would often hit with me, and was always very kind. He and the other guys on the team were very nice in also letting me "hang out" with them, despite my youth. After leaving Pueblo for college and the professional circuit, I always enjoyed visiting with John at the courts, during my occasional trips back to Pueblo. My deepest sympathies and thoughts are with all of you. Rest in peace, old friend.

Roland Dent

John was such a good person. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends. RIP --Roland Dent

Randy Dent

John was such a good person. Proving once again that only the good die young. My deepest sympathy to the family and John's closest buddies. I am traveling for work and cannot make the service which I truly regret but my thoughts and prayers are with you. --Randy Dent

John & Karla Gordon

Coach Bosh was a great guy. I had the pleasure of knowing him for a lot of years. Tennis was his world & teaching tennis was his destiny! I will always remember that smile of his, after an accomplishment. RIP Coach Bosh

Jessica Carlino

My deepest sympathy goes out to the family. I had the pleasure to play under John's coaching at Centennial High School for all four years. He was a tremendous man with a tremendous heart. I learned so much from him, about life just as much as sports. I will sincerely miss you, John. The tennis community will not be the same, but will always be forever grateful and touched by your memory. Rest in Peace.

Scott Burns

John loved to teach tennis, but he could talk any sport and talk he did. Our condolences to his family for their loss. We will miss you John. RIP

The Finegold Family

My two boys liked John and learned a lot from him. Our condolences to his family.

Tom Brockman

My daughter Aubre had the pleasure of playing for Coach at Centennial. She was rewarded with many lasting experiences during that time. Such a sad, sad loss. Such a well liked and knowledgeable individual. --Coach Brockman

Bob Dyleski

John was a tremendous asset the tennis community. He was liked by all, especially those he taught. I had not met a more gentle person than John. Always a kind remark and available to answer any questions. My deepest condolences to John's family and may he rest in peace. He is surely in heaven and probably giving God tennis lessons. God Bless you John and family.

Chris Brown

When my dad moved to Pueblo he would often come to City Park to watch tennis matches and invariably would end up talking to John about baseball, especially the old timers my dad had seen play over his lifetime. Any time I saw John he would tell me how much he enjoyed those conservations. I know dad did too. Thanks, John.


Dear grieving family,
My wife and I are truly sorry for your tremendous loss and would like to express our condolences to the entire family. We cannot imagine the great pain and sorrow you are experiencing during this very difficult time. It is our sincere hope you find comfort in knowing that God has promised to "swallow up death forever" (Isaiah 25:8), and that he will resurrect our dear loved ones who have passed away. John 5:28

Coach Bosh, Centennial High School, Pueblo, CO
Coach Bosh, Pueblo, Colorado

BYH Biographies