Boehmers to serve as grand marshals of Strawberry Festival parade

John and Lynn Boehmer will lead the Strawberry Festival parade in Leonard on July 21. Photo by C.J. Carnacchio.
John and Lynn Boehmer will lead the Strawberry Festival parade in Leonard on July 21. Photo by C.J. Carnacchio.
Longtime residents? Check.
Selfless devotion to their community? Check.
Unwavering commitment to improving their neighbors’ quality of life? Check.
When it comes to the criteria for being selected as grand marshals of the annual Strawberry Festival parade in Leonard, Addison Township residents John and Lynn Boehmer checked off all the boxes and then some.
The couple was selected to lead this year’s parade scheduled for Saturday, July 21. It starts at noon.
“You’ve just got to sit back and feel honored,” John said. “There’s so many great people in this township (that could have been selected).”
“It was a big surprise,” Lynn said. “I didn’t really expect it.”
John is being recognized for all his years of service on Addison’s various boards. He was an elected trustee on the township board from 2008-16 and spent 10 years on the zoning board of appeals. He also served on the planning commission.
“Volunteer work, in my mind, is essential to making a community healthy and prosperous,” John explained
He believes every resident has an “obligation” to be “community-minded” when it comes to the place they call home.
Addison Supervisor Bruce Pearson had nothing but praise when discussing Boehmer’s contributions as a township trustee.
“He was instrumental in just about everything we got accomplished here in the last 10 years,” Pearson said.
The supervisor cited building the new township hall, bringing natural gas to township residents and providing fresh gravel surfaces for 42 miles worth of unpaved roads as the main examples.
“Everything we did, he was always supportive,” Pearson said. “Every time we came up with a new idea, he was right there. I give that guy a lot of credit. He was always firm about (doing) what’s in the best interest of everybody in the township.”
He noted that John went into local government with “the right mindset.”
“There’s always people who go into it (with the attitude of) what’s in it for me,” Pearson explained. “That was never him. He never, ever once asked for something for himself.
“He was here to give back. He was all about (asking) what can I do to support the township and provide better services. I truly do miss him (on the township board).”
As for Lynn, she’s been an active and tireless supporter of the Addison Township Public Library as a member of the Friends group for somewhere between 10 and 15 years. She currently serves as the group’s treasurer.
“I think libraries are very important,” she said. “They’re such a resource to the community and our library is fantastic here in Addison . . . They encourage literacy like crazy. I think that’s really important in any community.”
Library Director Jaema Berman was quite complimentary of Lynn’s efforts, from helping organize the annual Flavor Fest – the Friends’ main fund-raiser – to sharing her knowledge as a master gardener with library patrons via presentations.
“She’s a very hands-on person,” Berman said. “She really cares about the things we do here, so she comes to a lot of our events, even if they are for children. She likes to see what’s going on at the library. That’s the sign of a true supporter.”
When she’s not helping the library, Lynn serves as president of the Meadow Brook Garden Club. The club is dedicated to preserving, maintaining and enhancing the gardens at Meadow Brook Hall in Rochester Hills.
Although the couple has lived in Addison since 1985, the story of how they got there goes back much further.
“Lynn’s got some deep roots and that’s what brought us out here,” John said.
“My grandmother was born just down the street from where we live now. My great-grandmother used to live on the corner of Rochester and Frick (roads),” Lynn said. “When I was a child, I came out here and stayed with my grandparents for holidays and summertime stuff. We were out here a lot, my siblings and I.”
Lynn’s grandfather, Robert Inwood, served as township supervisor and was Addison’s last justice of the peace. He came to Addison in 1955 to spend his retirement.
It’s because of Inwood’s generosity that the Boehmers ended up moving to Addison.
While living in Dearborn Heights, the couple realized they needed more room to raise their three kids, which later became four. To help them, Inwood gave the couple 5 acres of his farmland on which to build a home – the same one they live in today. The only difference is they now own all of Inwood’s farm.
“We stayed because it’s a great place to live,” Lynn said. “We have really good neighbors. We love our neighborhood.”

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