Our Dawson colleague Bo Temple, whose 37 years of service in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers included serving as Deputy Commanding General and Acting Commanding General, passed away recently. Bo was a beloved member of our firm who joined us in 2013.
My first memory of Bo was at the 2011 Castle Ball where he presided as Acting Chief of Engineers. That night made a real impact on me. My wife and I were seated in the back and couldn’t see the stage very well. Also, the sound system wasn’t working. Bo spoke in his wonderful, gravelly Virginia twang that was unfortunately accompanied by a high-pitch squeal from the sound system. If he was at all flummoxed by the malfunction, he never showed it. He just powered through in a way that the most adept stage performers I knew could never have.
Watching him maintain his composure also brought to mind my own years of touring in a rock band and enduring this same problem. Watching Bo power through his presentation unfazed gave me an almost inner peace. I felt at home with Bo and later learned that he could make people feel that way even if they didn’t know him.
Another story about Bo that I’ll never forget came in 2013, after he joined Dawson & Associates. Bo submitted his first monthly invoice and called me to make sure the format was acceptable.
At the top of the sheet was his name: Merdith W.B. Temple. “Now Stephen,” he said over the phone, “My name is not ‘Mer-UH-dith’. This is not a Boy Named Sue.” Having recently toured in a band with musicians named T-Pipe and Ponce D, it never occurred to me to comment on his name. But I was taken by his self-deprecating humor and willingness to make a joke at his own expense. All of us loved this quality about Bo – his humility and joy.
Bo was also known for being tenacious and selfless. While I was writing this, my Dawson colleague Don Riley passed along his favorite story about Bo:
When I was deployed to Afghanistan in 2009-10, Snowmageddon hit the DC area. Even though Bo was undergoing cancer treatments, he walked over to our house with his snow shovel and shoveled our driveway and sidewalks so my wife could get the car out. Bo never stopped looking to make a positive difference in others' lives. We’ll miss him.
Incidentally, Merdith (no E!) was the number #3,932 most popular name in 1948. If you google Merdith, he is the first entry. How fitting!
Rest in peace, Bo. You served your nation well.
Chief Counsel and CFO
The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Dawson & Associates.