The Passing of Jimmy Wakefield

The VirtualBoxwell Team recently learned of the passing of Parnell staff member James “Jimmy” Wakefield. Jimmy joined the Parnell staff in 1962 and as far as we know, only worked the one summer. As Greg Tucker explained, “Wakefield shared a tent with Johnny Roe and Greg Tucker. Every Saturday AM Jimmy would pack dirty clothes in a relatively new-looking suitcase, put on a full Scout uniform, and hitchhike to his home in Fayetteville TN. He would return to camp on Sunday AM by the same means. Only once was he late returning. (“I can’t believe no one would pick me up.”) Wakefield was an Eagle Scout and was active as an adult leader in Knoxville where he was a prosperous building contractor. He earned a BA from UT.”

Married for 47 years, Wakefield served as a State and Local member of the Associated General Contractors and the Knoxville Planning Commission. He was active in church as well as other philanthropic organizations. Wakefield passed away in Knoxville on February 15, 2016. He was 69 years old.

The Passing of Bill Freeman

The VirtualBoxwell team is sad to announce the passing of Bill Freeman. Bill was a long time Scouter and in recent years served as the Scoutmaster of Troop 200. For Boxwell, Bill was the Head Ranger, coming on after the retirement of Willie Claud in 1995. He stayed on at Boxwell through FOUR Reservation Directors: Larry Green, Ron Turpin, Pat Scales, and Carl Adkins. He retired in 2006. Boxwell was his second retirement with his first coming after 38 years with Nashville Electric Service. This connection with NES led to a great number of telephone poles being donated to Boxwell, including the uprights used for the Al Hendrickson Tower at COPE.

Bill loved to talk to people when they came up to camp, spending large chunks of time swapping stories. And of course, everyone who knew him for any period of time always commented on his enormous hands that would dwarf others when shaking hands.

Bill had been sick for awhile before his passing on December 3, 2022 at the age of 88. He is survived by his wife of 58 years and his children. Services will be held this Friday in Goodlettsville. Details in the link.

Bill Freeman on the tractor, mowing Boxwell in May 2003.

The Passing of Charlie Ray Smith

VirtualBoxwell is sad to announce the passing of Charlie Ray Smith. Smith was a Parnell and Stahlman staff member, serving most notably on both Waterfronts in the 1960s. He was waterfront director at Stahlman in 1966, 1967, and 1970. He joined the ranks of the professional Scouting staff shortly thereafter and returned to Parnell as Camp Director in 1973. After camp, he worked for Williamson County Juvenile Services until his retirement after 41 years in 2016. He remained active in Scouting both officially and unofficially. Indeed, Smith was part of a “renegade” group that dubbed themselves the “XDEs” (ex-District Executives) who were responsible for the Q-ball plaque in Stahlman, the history tables at Craig, and the first two staff reunions in 1983 and 1989. Smith was an Eagle Scout and was awarded the District Award for Merit, the Long Rifle Award, and the Silver Beaver. He was married and had two sons, one of who was also a Boxwell Staff member.

Charlie Ray Smith passed away on July 28, 2022 at the age of 76 after a long battle with cancer.

Service and memorial information may be found below.

From the Archives, May 29, 2022

In Memory

In honor of Memorial Day, we thought we would try something a little different this week. This week’s post is in honor of all our staff friends and colleagues who are no longer with us.

Follow the link to see our list of staff who have passed. If there are names missing, please pass them on.

But more importantly, use the comments to share stories. Keeping the stories alive helps keep the individuals with us.

Take a moment this weekend and remember members of the service who are no longer with us. Take another moment and remember those staff who are no longer with us.

Reservation Flags Half-Mast
Reservation flags at Half-Mast for Pat Deugaw, 2011