Jessie Kelley Boyett ,of Bernice, Louisiana, at 66 years of age, passed away on Thursday, August 10, 2017 at her home surrounded by those who loved her. She was born on February 11, 1951 in Borger, Texas.
Funeral services for Jessie Boyett will be held Sunday, August 13, 2017 at 2:00 pm at Pisgah Baptist Church near Bernice, LA. Bro. Jeff Hurst will be officiating. Interment will follow at Pisgah Cemetery under the direction of Farrar Funeral Home of Farmerville. Visitation will be held Saturday, August 12, 2017 from 5:00 – 8:00 pm at Pisgah Church.
As a child, Jessie attended several schools, but she started out at Bernice Elementary and began friendships that would last forever. She moved around with her family while her father was in the oilfield industry, but Bernice was always home to Jessie. She graduated from Jennings High School in 1969 and will forever cherish her friendships with her precious Coterie group whom she loved dearly. While in high school, Jessie was involved in numerous clubs and groups and especially loved the drama group and talked a lot about the plays that she was cast.
She married her sweetheart, Kent Boyett, the month after she graduated on a Monday night before he left for Vietnam. Kent and Jessie enjoyed a trip to Hawaii and lived in Washington for a short time while he was in the service before coming back home to Bernice where they would make their home.
Over the years, Jessie worked at The Garment Factory and Bill’s Dollar Store in Bernice, sold Sarah Coventry jewelry and insurance, but her favorite job of all time was, of course, being the owner, editor, and publisher of The Banner News. She began working at the paper office as a reporter and as an ad salesman in the late 90’s. When the paper was up for sale in June 2001, she purchased it, and this was the start to her 16 wonderful years as the owner. When she bought The Banner, the first thing she said is “I will never charge anyone for obits.” It was her way of helping the families during their time of sorrow.
She has met hundreds of people during her lifetime that meant so very much to her. She cherished the friendships that she made along the way, absolutely loved doing for others and made sure The Banner News highlighted those around our area that needed to be honored.
She was involved in numerous organizations and just a few of these include: The Chamber of Commerce, Ladies For Vets, Bernice Service Club, Corney Creek Festival, Crimestoppers, BSA – Boy Scouts of America and was the Charter Rep for Troop 54 of Farmerville. Yes, she had a hard time saying NO, but she loved being involved.
Over the years, while owning The Banner News newspaper, she won numerous awards and was honored with several certificates. Just a few of these awards are: In 2002 she received a Recycling Award from Trailblazers; in 2005 The Banner received a certificate of Appreciation from the American Legion; in 2009 The Banner received a Communication Award. She was the chairman of the Union Parish Chamber of Commerce in 2011; chosen as the 2013 Hall of Fame Inductee for the Corney Creek Festival and Town of Bernice; and in 2017 she was chosen as the Outstanding Citizen by Woodmen Life and the Business of the Year Award was given to her at the Union Parish Chamber of Commerce.
She was a member of Pisgah Baptist Church where she taught Sunday school, worked with youth groups, worked with the AWANA program and numerous other things over the years. She even went on a mission trip to Peru several years ago.
Jessie was preceded in death by her parents, John ‘Jim’ and Dorothy ‘Dot’ Kelley and her sister Mary K. Smith and brother in law Walter, all of Bernice.
Jessie is survived by her husband Kenneth Boyett of Bernice; daughter Danielle Harkins and husband Eric of Bernice; son Aaron and wife Charla of Bernice; son John and wife Amanda of Parkers Chapel, Ark; five grandchildren: Nathon and Kailee Harkins of Bernice, Tori Boyett of Bernice and Sawyer and Payton Boyett of Parkers Chapel, Ark.; numerous nephews, nieces, great nephews and nieces and a few great-great nephew and nieces and many, many friends.
Pallbearers are The Members of VFW Post 5442. Honorary Pallbearers are the Women For Vets ladies.
Online messages for the family may be left at farrarfuneralhomeonline.com.
Jessie Boyett, 66, owner/editor of the Bernice Banner newspaper, died August 10, 2017. Services will be held at 2:00pm, Sunday, August 13, 2017 at Pisgah Baptist Church in Bernice. Burial will follow at Pisgah Cemetery. Visitation will be 5:00 – 8:00pm Saturday at the church. Arrangements are under the direction of Farrar Funeral Home of Farmerville.