James E. Boles

A native of Mississippi, James E. Boles had worked in four states for the U.S. Department of Agriculture before taking over the reins of the Oklahoma City office in 1991. “He had some progressive ideas that let us share some information among sister agencies that saved some money. He made the operation more efficient,” USDA spokeswoman Janna Evans said. Boles, 51, and his wife, Jennifer, had been married for 13 years. Their son, James Michael Boles, was 8 years old. Boles also had an adult son Stephen Boles, 28 at the time, who lived in Germany. A family friend said Boles had a small farm where he raised chickens and rabbits. Boles previously worked for the USDA in Mississippi, Florida, and Maryland before becoming the local administrative officer. “Everybody knows him. They’re really torn up about it,” Evans said. Boles served in the Army from 1964-68 as a noncommissioned officer in charge of the 793rd military police battalion in Bayreuth, Germany. He will be buried this week in Utica, MS.