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Life-long baseball fan passes
away before attending Men's
College World Series game
By Greg Johnson, NCAA Media Center June 22, 2012
Bert Boquet's love of baseball was undeniable.
That was true from the age of 10 when he met legendary
slugger Babe Ruth until this year's Men's College World
Series in Omaha, where arrangements had been made
for him to attend Game 3 between Kent State and
Arkansas on June 16. Going to the ballpark was one of
his greatest joys. Unfortunately, Boquet's health began to
deteriorate, and he was not able to attend the game
featuring Kent State, whom Boquet began to follow after
hearing of the Golden Flashes' 21-inning victory over
Kentucky on the first day of regional play June 1.
Boquet died Wednesday at the age of 96 in Lincoln,
Neb., where he lived since 1949. Funeral services will be
held at 11 a.m. Monday (Central).
"Bert was a great friend to everybody he met," said Heidi
Abele, who formally managed the health care facility
where Boquet lived. "He was a man of integrity. He loved
to travel and had an undying love for baseball."
Even as his health turned worse, Boquet told those
around him that he was determined to make the trip to TD
Ameritrade Park Omaha this year. He was looking
forward to seeing Kent State play.
Boquet was especially impressed that Kent State was
able to follow up its marathon victory over Kentucky in
regional play with a 7-3 win over Purdue the next day. He
thought it showed remarkable resiliency.
Boquet not only loved to watch the game, he was also a
player. He attended men's baseball fantasy camps,
where he played second base, into his 90s.
During World War II, Boquet and his wife of one year,
Eleanor, volunteered for active duty on the same day in
Boquet joined the Army and was shipped to India to
serve as part of a replacement battalion. Eleanor's
Woman's Army Nurse Corp assignment took her to
England to support the upcoming invasion of Normandy.
Three years later, they were reunited and back into
Nebraska. After the war, Boquet worked governmental
jobs and Eleanor worked as a nurse at the Veterans
Administration hospital. They regularly spent their
vacation time visiting Major League Baseball ballparks
throughout the country and made it to all but three.
Bert's association with DHBA began in 1998 and he
attended camp every winter in Peoria until 2006 when his
health would not allow him to make the trip west from
Nebrasaka anymore. He was an inspiration to all that
were fortunate enough to know him and call him 'friend'.
The camp recognizes an individual each year with the
'Bert C. Boquet Inspirational Award' in his honor.
His wonderfully warm smile and gentlemanly demeanor
will be missed by all who knew him and especially his
Bert's service was attended by numerous friends and
associates. His M's hat and sleeves were neatly placed
on a column next to his head near the casket, and his
number 88 jersey along with his baseball cards were
An Inspiration for us all