John Ray Boots

May 7, 1940July 11, 2018

John R. Boots, age 78 passed away on July 11, 2018 in Tampa.

A native of Waterloo, Iowa, Mr. Boots retired after 21 years in the Air Force with tours of duty in Okinawa, Turkey, Hawaii, Vietnam, Thailand, Korea, Illinois, Texas, and Alabama. Upon his retirement in Korea he joined the US Embassy staff in Seoul and later was hired by a military food & beverage broker where he worked and managed in the Philippines, Hawaii, Okinawa, Korea, Japan, Guam, Germany, England, Italy, Greece, Bermuda, Panama, and Puerto Rico. After being moved to Jacksonville and later Tampa in 1993, he was General Manager of Egypt Shriners and later joined the staff at USF Health for 10 years. He attended St. James United Methodist Church, member of Tampa Palms Golf & Country Club, 50 year member of Waterloo Masonic Lodge #105, Aloha Shriners, Plant City Elks, the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Disabled American Veterans and AMVETS. He was an amateur radio enthusiast (W0EFD).

He is survived by his wife of 30 years, Norma, a brother Wayne Boots (Linda) of Waterloo, Iowa, a daughter Mary Lescher (Rick) of Tallahassee, a son Dr. Michael Valdez (Dr. Purnima) of Durham, NC, a son Paul Valdez of Mississippi, niece Laurie Colwell, two grandnieces, and six grandchildren.

Visitation will be Monday evening from 6 – 8 PM at Blount & Curry Terrace Oaks Chapel. Funeral Services will be on Tuesday July 17, 2018 11:00 AM at the Funeral Chapel. Burial with Full Military Honors will be at Florida National Cemetery.


  • Visitation Monday, July 16, 2018
  • Funeral Service Tuesday, July 17, 2018
  • Graveside Service Tuesday, July 17, 2018

John Ray Boots

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Kathy and Jack Monday

July 16, 2018

John was our dear neighbor. We had dinner together with John and Norma on many occasions. We loved John’s sense of humor and shared many laughs. He is gone way too soon and we will miss him dearly.

Kathy and Jack Monday

Nancy Wisgerhof

July 16, 2018

My deepest sympathy to Norma and family. I met John when I became director of the HR office at USF Health and he was the office manager. He was a delightful colleague and I could always count on him to cheerfully deal with whatever was thrown his way. His great sense of humor always kept me smiling. I cannot believe that he talked Martin and me into taking dancing lessons! After he joined the Plant City Elks, Martin and I enjoyed several Friday night dinners with John and Norma (who is also a treasure!). He was a wonderful man who made memories with everyone he met. We will miss you, John.

Joyce Beeman

July 14, 2018

I met John Boots while taking Seniors in Retirement classes at USF about 10 years ago. He made the class time enjoyable.
My husband, Ron, and I shared many fun occasions with John & Norma.
John entertained us with many interesting personal and military experiences. He dearly loved his wife, Norma .
Ron and I are so honored to call John our friend. Our deepest sympathy to Norma and his family. He will be missed .