HARLINGEN, Texas – The funeral of Rio Grande Valley icon Frank Boggus takes place 10 a.m., Saturday, Feb. 11, at Wesley United Methodist Church, 1406 East Austin, Avenue, Harlingen.

A reception will take place immediately following the funeral service at Boggus Ford, Harlingen.

Boggus died Feb. 4, 2023, aged 94. 

The tributes for the legendary businessman and philanthropist continue to pour in. This correspondent was told by more than one of his friends that Boggus was a man of God first, an Aggie second, and a Ford dealer third.   

“Frank Boggus was one of our pioneers and very instrumental in the development of our economy. He also set the example by managing his business ethically and treating his employees fairly. He was always there to support community organizations. He will be missed,” said Hidalgo County Judge Richard Cortez.

“As a South Texas native, Frank was deeply loved and respected for his commitment to the community he proudly called home. Many knew him for the different hats he wore – husband, father, Christian, veteran, business-owner, philanthropist, and dear friend. We will all remember his dedication to serving others and the Rio Grande Valley,” U.S. Senator John Cornyn, told Ron Whitlock Reports.

State Rep. Ryan Guillen of Rio Grande City said: “Frank Boggus was a pillar of the Rio Grande Valley. Under his leadership, Frank brought his own brand of excellence and customer service, becoming a beloved figure to those who worked for him and those who bought from him. But it was his philanthropic work and acts of kindness that truly set Frank apart and made a lasting impact on the community. His legacy will be remembered and honored for years to come as a testament to the difference one person can make in the lives of others.”

Former state Sen. Eddie Lucio, Jr., of Brownsville, said Boggus was a key supporter when he first ran for a place in the Legislature.

“Frank Boggus was very obviously a very special individual and an exemplary, upstanding businessman. He was in a class of his own and just a devout Christian man,” Lucio said. “He established opportunities for those that worked in his businesses, in the car dealerships around the Valley. Many people prospered because of him.”

Lucio said Boggus was always supportive of his political career.

“I’m very thankful to have received him support. Politically, he was always there for me, even though we belonged to different parties. We were conservative party leaders in our own right, but we respected one another. He told me on more than one occasion that I would be the only Democrat he would ever vote for, because of my conservative positions on business and being pro-life,” Lucio said.

“So, I valued his friendship. He was there at the very beginning of my Senate career alongside others great ones that helped me during that period of time, like Glen Roney and other outstanding business men and women in the Valley. So, I have just wonderful thoughts about him. He was a man of God, above all else.

Boggus took over the Boggus car dealership in Harlingen when his father, J. Lewis Boggus passed away. The Harlingen High School football stadium is named for J. Lewis Boggus. Frank Boggus later opened the Boggus dealership in McAllen. He later approved his son, Bob, starting the Boggus-Tipton car dealership in Brownsville. 

Realtor and former Harlingen Mayor Connie De La Garza said: “Frank Boggus’s impact on South Texas, the Rio Grande Valley, and especially the city of Harlingen cannot be measured in normal terms. He was very involved in all that was good, large or small, whether for the public or the needy individual.”

De La Garza added: “Mr. Boggus normally worked quietly in the background and really didn’t desire any publicity and when public gratitude was given, he humbly accepted it. He was a Christian that lived the Christian life as it should be lived. He will be greatly missed. He left a lasting legacy.”

Bobby Farris, vice chairman of Texas Regional Bank also paid tribute to Boggus.

“Frank was instrumental in starting the Salvation Army in Cameron County. He also served on their board for over 30 years. The Boggus Education Pavilion at Valley Baptist Medical Center was built to train nurses for South Texas,” Farris said. 

“Also, he was a major supporter of Loaves and Fishes Ministries, and Harlingen Boys and Girls Club of Harlingen. And, every car that Boggus Motors sold had a new testament Bible in the glove box before it left the dealership.”

Willacy County rancher Danny Yturria Butler said: “There are very few people I call one of the good ones. Frank definitely was one of the good ones. No more needs be said.”

Cynthia Sakulenzki, president of RGV Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, offered this tribute of Boggus:

“Frank Boggus was one of the men who helped make the RGV what it is today. Mr. Boggus recognized the positive qualities that the Valley had, the people, the land, weather and the desire to improve life for our families. He understood the Hispanic culture and knew that family came first. His attitude of giving back to the community and donating generously to worthy causes is a true example of the righteous man that he was.”

Michael J. Blum, managing broker of NAI Rio Grande Valley, said: “Frank Boggus is a Rio Grande Valley icon. I knew him as a leader among a small group of others who made a difference to so many for so long. His legacy will be the lasting imprint he made on the lives of the scores of men, women and children whose lives he touched. We are all better off because of the contributions Mr. Boggus made and, through his legacy, will continue to make for generations to come. May his memory be a blessing.”

It is perhaps unusual for a correspondent to quote him or her self in a tribute then pen but I want to make an exception for Frank Boggus. For I know I was one of many hundreds of Valley children who were mentored by Frank and another Valley legend, Glen Roney.

Frank Boggus was a man who sought God’s direction, was an Aggie through and through, and an extraordinary award-winning Ford dealer.

I want to thank you the VIPs who have wonderful the quotes and memories of Frank for this tribute. My own story is a bit more personal for in my early 20s I was mentored by Frank Boggus and Glen Roney into the world of public policy advocacy and media broadcasting which has turned out to be my lifes work and ministry.

Just as the Ballengers mentored a young Glen Roney into the banking business in San Benito, Glen and Frank mentored me on marketing, which resulted in a logo for their new Harlingen State Bank. This later segued into Texas State Bank Bank. This bank then loaned Glen and I the money necessary to build our first FM radio station together. That was KDUV 100.3 (today’s K-TEX) which became the number one rated FM station in the Valley. It sold for a then record $1 million dollars.

Both Frank and Glen were always there for me whether it be a question about the approach I was taking in advocating for an issue important to the Rio Grande Valley, and having to interview someone in Austin or Washington, D.C. to further that cause. 

Whenever I showed up at their office they were immediately available to help me, with advice and counsel, or financial support to get to the Capitol. For that I will be eternally grateful.

Now Frank has joined Glen in Heaven with their Lord & Savior and they are collaborating once again in advocating for the needs of the children and future generations of Valleyites.

The above guest column was penned by veteran RGV broadcaster Ron Whitlock. The column appears in the Rio Grande Guardian with the permission of the author. Ron Whitlock can be reached by email via [email protected]

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