Obituary of Eli Boozer Jr.
"When great trees fall..."
On October 30,2018, Eli Hinton Boozer, Jr. closed it down. Peacefully. Quietly. Noticeably. It would have been difficult for him to just “slip out”; he is, after all, the hero in a thousand peoples’ stories. He unwittingly holds that place in our stories because of who he was and how he was. Though unable to completely control the narrative of how he operated in all of our stories, he can rest assured that in each and every story, his character commanded a ferocious respect. Part good ol’ boy; part statesman; part gentleman, part renegade – undeniably a local legend, he traversed the longitude and the latitude of someone who is down to earth and someone who is bigger than life – comfortable and perfectly at home in those wide climates.
Wyn Nell and Eli Boozer, Sr. welcomed their only child, constructed of the finest materials, on July 22, 1945, at St. Katherine’s on Alameda Street in Salinas. Brought up on kitchen table wisdom, southern charm, and a family code that espoused honor and loyalty, Eli carried on his parents’ legacy after their passing, lucratively managing Alabam’s Used Cars, A-1 Tow Service, A-1 Auto Wreckers, and later developing his own A-1 Auto Dismantlers on North Madera and Spence Road in Salinas. Known and respected for his intuitive business acumen, he also never forgot his father’s mantra that “you must take good care of the people that work for you and they, in turn, will take good care of you.” Both Alabam and then, Eli, had people who worked side by side with them their entire professional lives; inspiring loyalty by providing loyalty.
Can we define a man by his collections? Or understand a man by understanding his reason for collecting things? Eli was an avid collector; he recognized value in valuable things and he assigned value to things that fascinated him. His collections ran the gamut – from matchbooks and ashtrays to antiques to Porsches to pets and people. He could hardly ever let anything go. Treasures were treasured.
He loved the back roads to Paraiso Springs and Arroyo Seco; he loved acreage. Once thought a confirmed bachelor, he loved the one that got away and then…came back and stayed. He married her at 65. He loved his home. He loved history and words and complicated things he didn’t understand; he loved projects and privacy and people he held close for decades. He loved a cocktail and a smoke and a good story. He loved good manners and understood the importance of maintaining a good reputation.
No one that knew him and loved him likes that he’s gone. We can hardly let him go. Treasures are to be treasured…
Eli is survived by his wife, Gerri, his aunt Sue Husted, his cousin Becky Husted and her husband Joe Locatelli, his stepson Shaun Dakota, and extended family in Texas, Oregon, Washington, and Alabama.
Visitation will be held on Friday, Nov. 9, 2018 1-9 pm at Healey Mortuary 405 N. Sanborn Rd Salinas, CA 93905.
Funeral Services will take place on Saturday, Nov. 10, 2018 11 am at the Healey Mortuary Chapel.
Burial to follow services at the Garden of Memories Cemetery 850 Abbott St. Salinas, CA 93901.
Arrangements are entrusted to Healey Mortuary & Crematory/www.healeymortuary.com