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Readers’ Choice Man of the Year: Dr. Leroy Boatwright

By Thomas Sellers Jr.Dr. Boatwright 1 Dr. Boatwright graphic

Some residents of Millington appreciate some of the pieces of Americana still left in their town.
Whether that’s reading the local paper with a cup of coffee or visiting Old Timers to eat lunch with friends, those people like a few reminders of the way life used to be. And another big part of that is Boatwright Pharmacy.
Popping into the 7899 C Street location, a customer will be greeted by a familiar friendly face and a staff ready to take care of any needs or concerns. And the man who started that vision in 1957 is still buzzing around the counters, Dr. Leroy Boatwright.
After wrapping up a Naval career and serving in World War II, Boatwright looked to settle down and open a business. On Nov. 1, 1957 with his wife Peggy by his side, Boatwright opened his drug store.
With years of dedicated service and still treating customers like friends, the readers of The Millington Star voted Boatwright 2014 Man of the Year.
“I really appreciate it,” Boatwright said. “It’s very nice. We have a lot of nice folks here and I have a lot good friends who support us.
“We appreciate it,” he added. “An independent pharmacy is like a dinosaur now. We’re a dying breed. So it nice to have people still respect us and we appreciate your business and dedication.”
On Boatwright’s website it states, “Experience the difference an Independent Pharmacy Can make. We have the” Old Fashioned Drug Store Atmosphere” with the latest pharmacy industry technology.”
Boatwright has moved three times in Millington since it opened 56 years ago. All three of the Boatwright’s children, Laura, Emily and Steven got into the family business as pharmacist.
Steven is now the co-owner and operations manager of Boatwright Pharmacy. The younger Boatwright is a member of both the National Community Pharmacists Association and the Tennessee Pharmacists Association.
Leroy and his son strive to make their family-owned pharmacy an “old fashion drug store atmosphere.” And part of that is giving back to the community. The Boatwrights donate to local events and charities.
“We’re involved in certain things like the schools and churches,” Leroy said. “It’s important. We think the children are being neglected in a lot of areas. They need our help.”
The Boatwrights are supporters of Young Life, an organization teaching area high school students about a relationship with Christ. The drug store is a regular sponsor of Millington Central High School activities and supports youth activities throughout the area.
And some places of worship have benefited from the Boatwrights’ generosity.
“I think we need to get back to that (spirituality),” Leroy noted. “We need to get back to the basics of life for all ages.”
It’s the basics that have made Boatwright a successful businessman for nearly 60 years. He has a simply philosophy that keeps customers loyal.
“A lot of it is just being nice to people,” he noted. “Be nice to people the way you want them to be nice to you. It’s a two-way street.”
The staff and pharmacists at Boatwright help navigate that street bringing customers back.
“It’s been great,” Boatwright said. “They’re what makes your business. We have a great staff.”
Boatwright said he has so much to be thankful for. He’s glad he opened his business in Flag City and the people of Millington are still recognizing him after all these years.
“It makes you feel really good inside and happy,” he concluded.


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February 2014
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