The Rev. Clinton C. Boone, pastor emeritus of Union Baptist...

The Rev. Clinton C. Boone, pastor emeritus of Union Baptist Church in Hempstead as well as a former Hempstead Town and school official, died March 25, 2012 of a heart attack at South Nassau Communities Hospital in Oceanside. The Hempstead resident was 90. Newsday's obituary for The Rev. Clinton C. Boone
Credit: Newsday / Ken Spencer, 2004

The Rev. Clinton C. Boone, pastor emeritus of Union Baptist Church in Hempstead as well as a former Hempstead Town and school official, died Sunday of a heart attack at South Nassau Communities Hospital in Oceanside. The Hempstead resident was 90.

Boone, who retired in 2003 after 46 years as Union's pastor, was the son of medical missionaries and was born in Monrovia, Liberia. He was 3 when his parents brought him to the United States.

He attended a number of schools, most notably Houghton College upstate, where he earned his undergraduate degree; Virginia Union University in Richmond, Va., where he earned his theology degree; and the C.W. Post Campus of Long Island University in Brookville, where he earned his master's in education.

He became Union Baptist's pastor in May 1957.

"He had a strong voice and would frequently burst into song during service," said his daughter, Evelyn Rane Boone-Franklin of Owings, Md. "One of his family's favorites, 'I Really Love the Lord,' in many ways symbolized . . .[him]."

Boone, who served as a social studies teacher in the Copiague school district for more than 30 years, was later a member of the Hempstead school board. He also was the Town of Hempstead's commissioner of occupational resources -- a jobs training and assistance program -- from 1982 to 2008.

"Spiritually gifted and dedicated to public service, Rev. Boone left a profound and indelible imprint on the souls of those whom he guided as a beloved pastor and on job seekers who sought his counsel as the commissioner of a bustling career resource center in Hempstead Town," said Town Supervisor Kate Murray.

During his pastorate, Union Baptist steadily grew in size and influence into one of the largest churches in the area. Boone was a longtime leader of the Nassau County Black Clergy.

"Rev. Boone was a giant in the community who spoke out on issues that affected the African-American community, whether it was in Mineola, Albany or Washington," said the Rev. Reginald Tuggle, the former longtime pastor of Memorial Presbyterian Church in Roosevelt.

Mel Jackson of Hempstead, the former head of the Long Island chapter of the Congress of Racial Equality, called Boone "dynamic, whether he was in the general, religous or governmental community."

Boone, whose first wife, Evelyn, died in 1999, remarried in 2002. His second wife, Lelar, died in September.

He was a member of the Nassau Council of Churches, the NAACP and the County Committee for Boy Scouts, among other organizations.

Boone also is survived by his son, the Rev. Clinton C. Boone III of Wyandanch; and five grandchildren.

A wake is scheduled for Thursday night from 6 to 9 p.m. at Union Baptist Church. A funeral will be held there at 10 a.m. Friday, followed by burial at Greenfield Cemetery in Uniondale. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made in Boone's name to Virginia Union University.

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