LUTZ, Fla. (WFLA) – At 87-years old, U.S. Marine Veteran Boddie Osteen was still very active and loved his country.
Every 4th of July, Veterans Day, and Memorial Day, you could see him waving a flag on U.S. 41 in Lutz.
Sadly though not anymore, his loved ones tell 8 On Your Side he passed away early Wednesday morning after a brief illness.
His wife of 64 years, Dorry Osteen, smiles when she speaks about her husband.
“Knew everybody, and everybody knew him. And he never met anybody he didn’t know,” said Dorry. “He liked everything there was to do. Fishing and going everywhere. Baseball, little league.”
But most of all, he loved his country. When we first interviewed him in May, it was raining outside, but that didn’t stop him from wearing his uniform and fulfilling his patriotic duty.
“I’m remembering my buddies, who a lot of them didn’t come back,” said Osteen. “I’m remembering them, how we fought, how we cried.”
“Once a Marine, always a Marine. There’s no changing. And that’s why I wear this uniform today because I love it,” said Osteen. “I love my country. And if I had to go back in today, I’d go back in today. But I’m too old.”
Osteen’s granddaughter, Ashley Donaldson, rode with him in the Lutz 4th of July parade for the first time this year.
“And just to see how excited he was to be in his uniform and to wave to people,” said Donaldson. “He was so excited to celebrate our country with other people.”
The family is still finalizing arrangements for a memorial service for Boddie. No doubt, he touched many lives in his 87-years.
“That’s just Boddie,” said Dorry Osteen. “He loved everybody, and everybody loved him.”