Categorized | IN OUR COMMUNITY

Dennis Boom spent life believing in power of community

Posted on 05 June 2017 by Calvin

Dennis Boom will be remembered in the Midway area as someone who was always smiling, who took an active role in his community and who helped families in their time of need. He was the longtime owner of what is now Holcomb-Henry-Boom-Purcell Funeral Homes and Cremation Services, which has facilities in Hamline-Midway neighborhood and Shoreview.

Boom, 77, died May 20 in Texas. He’d been battling pancreatic cancer and was staying with his daughter Elizabeth and her family. Services were held June 2-3, with burial in Calvary Cemetery.

When Holcomb-Henry-Boom-Purcell observed its centennial in 2016, Boom in an interview recalled the importance of serving clients as they helped make funeral arrangements for their loved ones. He and his late wife Elaine lent a personal and compassionate touch to every service they helped to plan.

Photo right: (L to R) Dennis Boom, Roswitha Holcomb, and Sharon and Richard Purcell. (Photo by Margie O’Loughlin)

“We’re honored to have served our community for 100 years,” said Boom. “We feel we are very much a part of the Midway. We’ve always believed in community service and being part of the greater community. That’s part of our tradition.”

Boom started working at what was the Holcomb-Henry Funeral Home as a young man. Boom stayed active with the funeral homes after selling the business and property to Richard Purcell. He knew generations of area families.

He was proud of the funeral home’s long history in the Midway neighborhood and at last year’s open house enjoyed poring over the many scrapbooks with guests.

He attended Hamline University and later the University of Minnesota. He earned a degree in mortuary science from the U of M in 1962.

The Booms lived above the Midway funeral home and later, above the Shoreview funeral home. That location was opened in 1993. Their home was full of antiques and souvenirs from their world travels.
Dennis Boom was active in Hamline Church United Methodist, Midway Chamber of Commerce, the Midway Lions Club, the St. Paul Rotary Club, Tusler-Summit Masonic Lodge #263, St. Paul Osman Shrine, Honolulu Aloha Court #1 ROJ, and Waikiki Yacht Club. He especially enjoyed years of service to the St. Paul Winter Carnival and served as the royal family Prime Minister in 1996.

He loved to sing and sang in church choirs at Hamline Methodist and Honolulu’s St. Andrew’s Cathedral. He enjoyed playing tuba and keyboard instruments, including the Shriners’ Calliope. He loved to sit at a keyboard and entertain. He was a skilled bridge player.

In 2015 he received a 50-year volunteer award from the Minnesota State Fair for his many years of service at the Hamline Church Dining Hall.

He is also recalled as being thrifty as well as generous. The Booms’ philanthropy included gifts to their churches and a dining room at Hamline University’s Anderson Student Center, which looks over Hamline (formerly Hancock) Elementary where Elaine taught.

Elaine Segale Boom died in 2015, also of pancreatic cancer.