School 12

Thelma (McKinney) Boughton

December 22, 1935 ~ December 5, 2021 (age 85)


Thelma McKinney Boughton passed away on Sunday, December 5, 2021 and was laid to rest at a private interment. A Memorial Service will be held at First Presbyterian Church, 900 Jordan Street, Shreveport, Louisiana on Saturday, December 11, 2021 at 10:00 a.m. with a reception to follow. Officiating the service will be Reverend Alexandra Pappas. The family requests that masks be worn at the reception as much as possible.

Thelma was born December 22, 1935, in Shreveport, Louisiana to Wheeler and Thelma Wilson McKinney, and grew up in the small farming community of Dixie, Louisiana. She often spoke with pride that she never learned to ride a bike because she had a horse. She went to elementary through high school in nearby Belcher.

Thelma attended Southwestern College (Rhodes) in Memphis, TN for her freshman year and completed her education at Louisiana Tech University, where she met her husband of 63 years, Jerry Boughton. The two were married on July 4, 1958.

After college, Thelma taught at Werner Park Elementary and Southern Hills Elementary before pausing her career (all but required for women at the time) to care for her son David, born in 1961, followed by Laura in 1966. She returned to teaching at Broadmoor Junior High, then J.S. Clarke Elementary in 1971, and finished her career with ten years at First Baptist Church School as a beloved sixth grade teacher.

Thelma and Jerry enjoyed summer mountain camping trips, a passion her daughter and grandchildren have inherited. After her retirement, they explored the world with extensive yearly trips including Europe, Southeast Asia, South America and Africa. Her favorites were the numerous trips to Thailand and Vietnam.

Thelma was a life-long learner. She was a prolific reader with a particular love for history, though she usually had a fiction book in the nightstand stack as well, and she was not above an occasional true crime thriller. She was a serious Ken Burns fan and usually checked the PBS line-up each night before settling for true crime or SEC football. “Downton Abbey” and “Call the Midwife” were her all-time favorites. She was a proud member of the 20th Century Club, a women’s study group, for which she wrote papers including topics such as Josephine Baker, Vietnamese communities on the Gulf Coast, Cambodian Genocide, and the Rosenbergs.

Following in the footsteps of her mother, she was a terrific cook and welcomed any random teenager who “stopped by” around dinner time. Her house was always open to Laura’s and David’s sometimes wild pack of friends. Many will remember her penchant to correct one’s grammar- some of her last words were directed toward a football announcer- “between you and me not you and I,” she said, rather irritatedly.

She was a loving grandmother to her two grandchildren with whom she spent weeks at a time each summer. She restocked her bookshelves with children’s books and prepared sugar cookies shaped like her grandchildren’s beloved stuffed bear, Dewy.

Throughout her adult life, Thelma was deeply involved in various Shreveport community organizations including the Opera Guild, Symphony Guild, Providence House, Red River Revel, and was committed to assisting with activities at First Presbyterian Church.

Thelma was preceded in death by her parents; her sister, Barbara Kelly; brother, Tommy McKinney; and her cousin, Elizabeth Ann Dodson, who was more like a sister. In 1991, her one-of-a-kind son, David, passed away after battling AIDS. After David received his diagnosis, Thelma and Jerry rallied immediately, renting a second apartment in Dallas to provide a calm, caring place where David’s friends could come and stay, surrounding him with love and support.

She is survived by her husband Jerry Boughton; daughter, Laura Boughton and husband, Gerard Buskes; and grandchildren, Arthur Buskes and Elsie Buskes. Thelma had many cherished life-long friendships and will be sorely missed by all who knew her.

The family wishes to thank the doctors and nurses on the fifth floor of Willis-Knighton Pierremont and the staff at the Oaks of Louisiana Health Center for the care and compassion given to Thelma. The family would like to especially thank Jaquelyn Giddens Brinegar, Dr. Martha Whyte and Rev. James B. Giddens for their love and support.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorials may be made to First Presbyterian Church of Shreveport Legacy Green Fund, 900 Jordan Street, Shreveport, LA 71101 ( or the Philadelphia HIV Resource Center, 2020 Centenary Boulevard, Shreveport, LA 71104 (

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Thelma (McKinney) Boughton, please visit our floral store.


December 11, 2021

10:00 AM
First Presbyterian Church of Shreveport Legacy Green Fund (Jordan Street, Shreveport, Louisiana, Red River Revel, LA, Philadelphia)

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