IPJI NOTE: Ed Boshears, former state senator and Jekyll Island Authority board member, passed away on July 4, 2012. On January 15, 2014, Georgia Times-Union editor, Terry Dickson, wrote a column about Ed, emphasizing his kindness toward animals and his fellow man.

As you read Mr. Dickson’s column, you will see that Senator Boshears had a very kind heart. His home was full of dogs and cats. And, his office became an orphanage for homeless cats. People down on their luck were cared for by Ed as well.

Ed served as a Jekyll Island Authority board member from 1995 to 2008. As a JIA board member, Ed took strong positions on the importance of keeping Jekyll Island affordable for everyday Georgians, on keeping Jekyll’s beautiful beaches open and accessible to the public, and on preventing over-development of the island.

Ed spared few words at JIA board meetings when trying to influence his fellow board members to keep Jekyll open and accessible for the common man. His opposition to the mega-development plan by Linger Longer was not viewed favorably by his colleagues and Governor Perdue. Having earned the disfavor of Governor Perdue, Ed’s term on the board was not extended in 2008.

When Senator Ed passed away no mention of his death was made by any member of the JIA board or staff at the July 2012 board meeting despite his 13 years of service on the board. Mindy Egan, Co-director of IPJI, was the lone voice to speak in Senator Ed’s memory at that meeting. Her comments received a round of applause from the members of the public in attendance but not a word was said by JIA board members.

The members of the Initiative to Protective Jekyll Island are indebted to Senator Ed’s commitment to Jekyll Island State Park and effort to preserve Jekyll’s traditional character and natural beauty. Many people talk about being kind to others and standing by their principles. Ed lived his life by doing so.

Months after lawyer's death, the stray cats he took in are thriving
Former state Sen. Ed Boshears provided for the office cats in his will
Georgia Times-Union
By Terry Dickson
January 15, 2014 

BRUNSWICK | Ed Boshears, a lawyer and state senator, loved cats.

He would sometimes greet visitors at the door of his famously cluttered office with a purring cat nestled in the crook of an arm as he rubbed behind its ears.

“I hope you don’t mind cats,’’ he would say.

Boshears died July 4, 2012, and perhaps the dozen cats he left behind don’t get petted as much, but they still eat well and have a dry place to sleep in his former law office. He made sure of that in his will.

“His estate takes care of their well being,’’ said Jonathan Miller, who practices law out of Boshears former office on a side street between the old and new county courthouses.

Jeannine Norwood, Boshears’ longtime assistant and a cat lover in her own right, still works there.

“That’s Cleo. That’s Puddin,’’’ she said of a couple of cats warily watching a visitor. “They were both born on the roof.’’

At any given time, their mother still hangs out up there.

Miller’s daughter, Ashley, 19, worked at her desk with Minny, a big female cat, relaxing on a corner.

Norwood said the cats have all been spayed or neutered, and there won’t be any added to the fold.

Asked how he feels about the cats in the office, Miller said they don’t bother him. He also said they’re symbols of how Boshears practiced law and assisted the needy.

A lot of people who needed but couldn’t afford lawyers came by and he helped them, and he was an easy touch for the homeless.

“In a way, Ed’s still here,’’ he said.

Terry Dickson: (912) 264-0405