Longtime Cy Falls High School custodian helping students from beyond grave

June 9, 2013 4:02:09 AM PDT
David Boatright was a longtime custodian at Cy Falls High School. Described as a generous man who was active in community service, he was beloved.

Boatright passed away from cancer last year. After his death, those closest to him did not know what do with his collection of sports memorabilia. He had no living parents, siblings or children, and he never married. But the school was his family, so they turned to the school he loved so much for help.

Just one glance at the extensive sports memorabilia collection and it doesn't take long to conclude that the collector had a love for the game. And, by that, we mean any game.

"He had probably 200,000 of the baseball, basketball cards," said Barry Townley, Boatright's best friend and the head basketball coach at nearby Cy-Fair HS.

From the autographed Michael Jordan rookie card to the signed poster of Chicago Bears legend and hall of famer Walter Payton, Boatright had them all.

"He collected autographs. He collected Beanie Babies, figurines, statues; he just collected sports memorabilia," Townley said.

But even with these valuable collectables, Townley says this is not what made his friend special. It was his life outside his fascinating hobby.

"About 15 years ago, David's parents passed away and they left him their teacher retirement," Townley said. "David didn't have to work, but he wanted to give to people, so he took a job as a custodian."

The custodian and quiet collector was diagnosed with esophageal cancer and passed away in December 2012. It was only then that this devoted friend discovered he had been quietly building this collection for decades.

With the permission of Boatright's distant relatives in Tennessee, Townley decided to sell his friend's possessions in order to honor his memory.

"I had the idea that we need to take his memorabilia that meant so much to him, and my idea was to build a scholarship fund," Townley said.

A scholarship in Boatright's name is now set up through the Cy-Fair Educational Foundation. The scholarship will go each year to a Cy Falls HS graduate who is active in community service, ensuring Boatright's spirit of giving lives on.

The first annual scholarship winner was announced this week. Her name is Miriam Miles.

Townley's goal is to raise $20,000 in the next seven years to make the David Boatright Memorial Scholarship perpetual. Thanks to donations and advance memorabilia purchases, he has already raised $9,550 toward that goal.

The big push will come Sunday when they hold a David Boatright Memorial Scholarship Auction.

"He was the absolute most selfless guy and I can't think of a better thing to do for his legacy than this," Townley said.

Anyone interested in attending can go to VFW Post 8905, located at 21902 Hempstead Highway in Cypress, from noon to 3pm Sunday.

Below is a list of items up for bid at the auction:

  • Houston Texan Christmas ornament 1/500
  • Frank Sinatra records (2)
  • Cotton Bowl football 2009
  • Camelot Shield
  • 12- Miller High Life drinking glasses
  • Barry Sanders/Watker Payton starting lineup
  • General George S Patton doll
  • Original Converse All star shoes (1984)
  • Houston Oiler cap
  • Lance Berkman autograph photo
  • Terry Reynolds/Milo Hamilton autograph photo
  • Star Wars Destroyer ship
  • Star Wars Skywalker/Ickabel/fighter pilot/ AT AT drive
  • Southern living candle holders (2)
  • 1973 St. Louis Cardinal baseball (JSA)
  • Scott Kazmir /Clint Everts baseballs
  • Cereal Box- Flutie Flakes
  • Cereal Box- Super Bowl 30th anniversary
  • Cereal Box- 1996 Olympic Gymnasts
  • Heisman trophy winners-starting lineups (7 items)
  • Elvin Bethea autograph (JSA)
  • Daryl Kile autographed card (JSA)
  • Sign- Psalms 107:1
  • wooden cross
  • Seattle Pilots/New York Yankees pennants (1969)
  • Carl Hubbell autographed card (JSA)
  • Mike Rozier autographed mini helmet (JSA)
  • Archie Manning autographed mini helmet (JSA)
  • Andre Johnson/Dominick Davis (JSA) Auto mini helmet
  • Shiner Bok Dogs dancing picture
  • Babe Ruth collectible sheet Fro-Joy
  • Drexler/Olajuwan autographed poster (JSA)
  • Elvin Hayes autographed poster (JSA)
  • US serviceman collection- Union/Confederate soldiers
  • Soldiers of the world- Patriot 1176/Redcoat 1776
  • Starting lineup- Joe Montana/Larry Bird
  • Starting lineup- Sayers, Butkus. Starr, Lombardi
  • Clyde Drexler Starting lineup 1996
  • Akeem Olajuwan display, starting lineup 1995
  • Jeff Bagwell autographed baseball (JSA)
  • Tony Gwynn autographed baseball (JSA)
  • Michael Jordan Rookie card 1986-87 Fleer
  • Derek Jeter autographed rookie card (JSA)
  • Lindros/Gretzky starting lineups
  • Starting lineup Kareem Abdul Jabbar
  • NFL Headliners-Davis, Pace, Glenn, Galloway, Thomas
  • MLB Headliners- Wood, Wells
  • Y.A. Tittle autographed photo (JSA)
  • Bart Starr autographed photo (JSA)
  • Johnny Unitas autographed photo (JSA) starting lineup
  • Poster: Last pitch at Detroit Tiger stadium
  • Poster: Boston Garden panoramic
  • Poster: Negro League
  • George Gervin autographed jersey (JSA)
  • Walter Payton autographed photo (JSA)
  • Yale Lary autographed photo (JSA)
  • Charles White autographed photo (JSA)
  • Starting Lineup - Jeff Gordon collection
  • Hot Wheels- 40th anniversary collectibles
  • Steve Francis autographed photo (JSA)
  • Starting lineup- Shaquille/Piazza 1997
  • Dallas Cowboys Bobblehead
  • 1983 NFL Helmet Decals/Helmet Bowl Super Bowl
  • Starting lineup-Cooperstown Gibson, Williams
  • Willie Stargell autographed photo (JSA)
  • Nate Archibald autographed photo (JSA)
  • Brooks Robinson autographed photo (JSA) start lineup
  • Kurt Warner autograph(JSA) w/Super Bowl ticket stub
  • Gale Sayers/Brian Piccolo Bobbleheads
  • Alex Rodriguez autograph (JSA) (to charles)
  • Starting Lineup 1998 Favre, Elway, Marino
  • Glavine/Smoltz/Maddox autograph baseball (JSA)
  • Patrick Beverly autographed photo (Tristar)
  • DJ Swearington autographed photo (Tristar)
  • Sam Casell autographed card (JSA)
  • Steve Francis autographed photo (JSA)

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