By Lynn R. Mitchell
Friends gathered Saturday evening in Fairfax to laugh, cry, and remember fellow conservative blogger and activist Terrence Boulden who left this world far too early Friday night at the age of 35.
[Updated below with GoFundMe info on how to help the family.]
A familiar voice for years at Virginia Virtucon, he was friends with many. One of those was Brian Schoeneman who share the memories of his years working with Terrence, writing at Bearing Drift:
Terrence, 35, was a fixture in Northern Virginia Republican politics. He served as Chairman of the Prince William County Young Republicans, 11th District Representative to the Young Republican Federation of Virginia, Woodbridge District Magisterial District Chair for the Prince William County Republican Committee, was a co-founder and President of the Virginia Black Conservatives, and was former chairman of the Fairfax County Republican Committee African-American Outreach Committee. He was a past Editor-in-Chief of Virginia Virtucon, one of Virginia’s oldest and most respected conservative blogs. Every Republican candidate, statewide or in Northern Virginia, looked to Terrence for advice and insight.
A few years ago, many of us began to steel ourselves up for the possibility that TB wouldn’t be with us forever. He spent months in a coma as a result of on-going health issues. But God gave him back to us, if only for a short time, and I will always be grateful that we had those extra months with him. Losing him now, after we thought the worst was over, has been extremely difficult. I know that I, like most of our friends, was stunned when I heard the news and we all prayed that it wasn’t true.
Justin Higgins was grateful for his friendship with TB, noting at JHPolitics.com:
A few years ago, as I was getting ready to move to Prince William County, I had a couple Facebook conversations with Terrence Boulden. I hadn’t yet met TB, but I knew he was a blogger and activist and we had run in the same circles online. Reaching out to Terrence was one of the best decisions I ever made.
When I arrived in Northern Virginia, I was worried. As an Ohio transplant coming from Southwest Virginia, it was yet another clean slate. It was another move where I knew I’d have to make new friends, new political contacts, etc..
Terrence welcomed me in a way that I will forever be grateful for. He introduced me to his friends, to the Party, to the area. He encouraged me to get involved in Young Republicans, encouraged me to step up and serve as Woodbridge Magisterial Chair and advocated on my behalf as a friend behind the scenes more times than I could count.
Over at Virginia Virtucon where Terrence blogged, the mood was somber as Jason Kenney shared the sorrow of a friend now gone:
Last night we lost a good one. Terrence Boulden was a Virginia gentleman, loyal to his politics, Jefferson, Nixon, Prince, and most of all his friends.
To be his friend was to be his brother.
He strived every day to make a difference in the Republican Party and in Virginia. And every day he did that, little by little, from the work he did to just the conversations he’d just randomly start, to share a thought, pick a brain, just check in.
He hated tension. Far too often we dismiss people in politics who have friends across the spectrum as being a squish, or unable to say no, or unable to take a stand, or just not loyal. But that wasn’t Terrence. He genuinely just wanted everyone to get along. And when they couldn’t, when the knives would come out and his friends were in trouble, he’d be right there next to you, ready to go.
“When the knives would come out” … bloggers are on the front line of political battles and the knives seem to always be out. That’s when when we see who has character, or lack of it.
In Harrisonburg, Joshua Huffman at Virginia Conservative wrote:
This morning, I received some tragic news. Terrence Boulden has died. Although I don’t believe I ever met Mr. Boulden in person, I certainly considered him a colleague. Like many of us, he was a part of the conservative Virginia blogosphere, and he was the driving force behind the Virginia Black Conservatives. … My prayers today are with Terrence Boulden, his family, his friends, and all those who his life has touched. Rest in peace, my fellow blogger.
Terrence self-described himself on Twitter as, “Black Republican, proud son, proud Virginian and Proud American.” Today his Twitter voice is silent. His computer screen is dark, keyboard quiet, and grief fills the void. LynnRMitchell.com joins the Virginia blogger community is sending condolences to Terrence’s family at this tragically sad time.
If there is a blogosphere in heaven, Terrence and Tucker Watkins and Alton Foley surely must be firing up the aggregator and warming up keyboards and getting the hospitality suite ready. RIP Terrence … see you on down the writing trail.
UPDATED: From the Young Republican Federation of Virginia (YRFV):
Many of you have asked about ways to help out Terrence Boulden’s family. We have set up a GoFundMe page to collect donations to help support Terrence’s family; the link is below. Alternatively, you can send money directly to Terrence’s mother–please contact me (josephmdesilets [at] gmail.com or (703) 298-4717) or Stephen Spiker (stephen.spiker [at] gmail.com or (757) 618-0676) for the address. Checks should be made out to “Esther Boulden”.
The family is still settling the details for services; as soon as the information is made known it will be shared far and wide.
Graphic credit: I would like to give credit for the graphic. Please let me know whose work it is.