LAMONI, Iowa -- Former U.S. Congressman Leonard Boswell was a decorated war veteran and admired politician. His wife Dody was a respected and well-loved school teacher.
What was scheduled to be a funeral for the late congressman at Graceland University turned into a funeral of two after his beloved wife passed away early Saturday morning.
“The lord works in mysterious ways. Leonard and Dody couldn't bear to be apart more than a week. So, she left this morning at three o'clock to join him and we now honor and celebrate Leonard and Dody not just as individuals but as a union” said Iowa Representative Scott Ourth.
The two met at Graceland University, and carved their names into the side of a building when they were married, as is tradition.
Those delivering eulogies included retired Senator Tom Harkin who quoted Frank Sinatra.
“To try to separate them is an illusion, and you can’t have one without the other” said Harkin.
He also commented on Congressman Boswell's humility in life.
“He always started his speeches and he'd say ‘I was born in a tenant farmhouse and look what I got to do’. It wasn't ‘look what I've done’, it wasn't ‘look what I accomplished’, it was 'look what I got to do'" said Harkin.
Boswell served with distinction as a helicopter pilot in the Vietnam War and was awarded two distinguished flying crosses. One of his brothers in arms, and brother through friendship, brought some laughs.
“You recognize the tie? I got it out of your closet!” said Charlie Teague as he looked skyward.
Later, Teague became emotional as he honored his lifelong friend.
“Goodbye my brother. It was a great ride. I hope I'm worthy to be in your presence sometime in the future” he said through the tears.
Dody was remembered as a rock in Leonard's life, holding down things at home while he was at war, and always up to help campaign when he returned to a life in politics. In the end Congressman Boswell was laid to rest with full military honors and a 21 gun salute; his wife laid to rest beside him.
Boswell was remembered as a lifelong democrat who was able to work across the aisle in the Iowa Senate and later the U.S. House of Representatives. One of his hallmark pieces of legislation was a bill which aided the fight against veteran suicide.