Comal County Democratic Party leader killed in crash
Democrats in Comal County are mourning the loss of their county chairwoman, Roberta “Robbi” Boone, who was killed Friday evening in a traffic accident on Texas 46.
The Department of Public Safety could not provide any details Monday on the incident, saying the trooper investigating it hadn’t yet filed a report. A member of Boone’s family said her Toyota Prius was hit by a truck at the intersection of FM 311 and Texas 46 and she was flown to University Hospital, where she was pronounced dead.
“This is a person who made a difference in the world,” Ann Patla, treasurer of the Comal County Democratic Party and a close friend of Boone, said Monday. “It will be very difficult to fill her shoes.”
Boone, 75, led local Democrats for at least six years and “worked tirelessly” for the party in the county and state, Patla said.
Democratic voters are far outnumbered by Republicans in Comal County but Boone maintained a positive outlook and helped her party open a local office, recruit new members and — with limited success — field candidates. The only Democrat for a county office last November, Fred Riter, garnered 11,943 votes in the sheriff’s race, losing to Republican Mark Reynolds, who received 49,063.
“The thrust of our efforts has been to get people out to vote,” Boone, a former teacher, said in a 2014 interview. “I think (potential Democratic candidates) feel right now this is a Republican voting district, and they’ll wait until their opportunities (to get elected) are better.”
She’d been a widow since the December death of her longtime spouse, Daniel Boone, who ran unsuccessfully as a Democrat in 2012 for the U.S. House, and in 2014 for the Texas Senate. The couple raised four children and operated a bed-and-breakfast.
Ruth Pharis, the county Republican chairwoman, called Robbi Boone “a very classy lady.”
“She was a strong advocate for her party,” Pharis said, noting Boone was active on legislative issues and on state-wide Democratic matters. “This county is a strong Republican county and she did very well in trying to get her point of view over.”
A statement by Texas Democratic Party Chairman Gilberto Hinojosa said, in part, “All of us will miss Robbi’s determination and passion going forward. Our thoughts are with the entire Boone family during this difficult time.”
Amemorial service is set for 2:30 p.m. May 6 at the Unitarian Universalists of New Braunfels on Alves Avenue. About 40 acquaintances of Boone gathered informally to celebrate her life Sunday at the New Braunfels home of Bob and Cindy Peterman.
Robbi and Daniel Boone were “a dynamic couple,” Cindy Peterman said Monday. “So often people want to do something, but they sit there and think of all the reasons they can’t do it, or why it can’t be done. That was never the case with those two.”
Robbi Boone was “positive and enthusiastic about the future of the party here in Comal County,” said Rick Nathan, president of an affiliated group, Democrats of Comal County. “Her death is a huge, huge loss. Everyone’s been devastated.”