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Bo Dallas dies at 107

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By Carolyn Ten Broeck

Bo Dallas never took credit for his long life.

Three years ago he said without doubt all his blessings–including his 100-plus years on this earth– came from above.

On Aug. 18, Dallas– born Theodore R.–died two weeks short of his 108th birthday.

The oldest of four children born to Miller Dallas and Mable Banks, Dallas was born Sept. 2, 1906.

Nicknamed Bo by his uncle after a boar hog, he migrated with his grandparents who reared him in the Romeo community.

As a young man, he played baseball in the Negro League. A catcher, he remembered playing against the legendary Satchel Paige in a 1926 game in Homestead.

Soon after, the Great Depression swept over the country.

“People were having it tough,” he said on a 2011 interview,“but I had a good job working on the railroad.”

Workers were paid in both gold and groceries, he said.

Allotments of rice, sugar, flour, corn, tomatoes, a side of bacon and chewing tobacco totaled about $17, Dallas said. With his portion, he not only kept his family fed, but was able to help others.

He worked at Burns Lumber and Saw Mill Company for 27 years and then became employed with the city of Williston where he drove the sanitation truck and retired after 17 years.

He was a member of Mason Lodge #114 in Dunnellon.  He was a past steward of Allen Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church.  

Along the way, he met and married his wife, the late Pauline Williams. Together the couple had seven children.

His wife died in 1955 and though he never remarried, he admitted with a twinkle in his eye, that he stayed very social over the years.

“Treat your sisters and fellow man the way you want to be treated,” Dallas shared in 2011.

“My prayers go up and my blessings come down,” he said before launching into three verses of “Just a Closer Walk with Thee.”

Right up until the end, his health was pretty good, especially for a centenarian. In fact, he only visited doctors for the first time on a regular basis in his 90s and up until recently did not have prescription eyeglasses–only those from the dollar store.

He loved to cook–especially Great Northern Beans and when a pot was done, he would call his grandson Daryl to come over for a bite to eat.

Survivors of his legacy to carry are sons, Rudolph (Marilyn) Dallas, Orion Dallas and George Berrien; 110 grandchildren; 130 great grandchildren; 25 great-great-grandchildren, and many great-great-great-grandchildren and a host of nieces, nephews and friends.

Visitation will be Friday, Aug. 29 5-7 p.m. at Allen Chapel A.M.E. Church. A Celebration of Life will be held Saturday, Aug. 30 at 11 a.m. at First Baptist Church of Williston. Internment will be at New Hope Cemetery.

Arrangements are under the care of Carnegie-Dallas Funeral Services, Clearwater.