The following blog post is by Family Council staff member David Cox.
Today many Arkansans—regrettably—have little recollection of Dr. Fay Boozman. He was a doctor, legislator, Director of the Arkansas Department of Health, and—most importantly—a devoted Christian, father, and husband. Many people thought very highly of Dr. Boozman, including me.
I was fortunate enough to meet him before his untimely passing in 2005.
As a young Boy Scout, I was assigned the task of meeting with an elected official to discuss citizenship and government. My dad arranged a meeting with Dr. Boozman, who was serving in the Arkansas Senate at the time. Dad took me up to an office in the Arkansas Capitol Building, where we visited with Dr. Boozman for roughly an hour about how our representative system of government works.
Most middle schoolers probably would have been bored with an assignment like that. Somehow Dr. Boozman actually made government interesting. I recall very distinctly toward the end of our meeting, Dr. Boozman expressed two views I have carried with me ever since.
The first was that government serves solely at the will of the people. People have to obey laws, but they are not servants of the government; the government serves them.
The second view he expressed was that every elected official is accountable for his actions, both to the people and to God. As Christians, we believe every human being stands before God to give an account for his or her actions in life; Dr. Boozman told me he believed that especially applied to those in leadership—that they would have to explain to God what they did and did not do with the power they were given.
I had often heard those views expressed in bits and pieces by friends and family members, but up until that time I had never heard one person articulate them so concisely. As my father and I left Dr. Boozman’s office that day, I remember reflecting on those two points, and I have found myself continuing to reflect on them off and on for the better part of the decade and a half that have since passed.
Sometime after that first meeting I had the opportunity to hear Dr. Boozman speak at our church. He talked about family—specifically how he had at times put other things ahead of his, and how God had since changed his life and his priorities so that family came first. I believe Dr. Boozman felt very strongly that we should put family second only to God.
I was camping with friends outside Phoenix, Arizona, returning from the Grand Canyon, when I learned Dr. Boozman had passed away unexpectedly due to a tragic farming accident.
To celebrate Dr. Boozman’s life and legacy, Family Council and the Physicians Resource Council sponsor the annual Fay Boozman Award. Arkansans can nominate any doctor they feel shares Dr. Boozman’s values—Christian faith, dedication to family, service to others, and medical excellence. Family Council is accepting nominations for the 2013 Fay Boozman Award from now through August 14.
If you know a doctor who should be recognized, you can nominate him or her for the 2013 Fay Boozman Award by going to http://www.fayboozman.com.
The Fay Boozman Award is just one way we remember the life and legacy of Dr. Boozman and remind everyone of the things that matter most: Serving God, serving our families, and serving others.