By Chris Edwards
CORRIGAN – A former educator who continued to use her passion for teaching to give back to the community after her retirement has died, yet her legacy looms large in the hearts and minds of a generation of students she taught, as well as friends and colleagues in the area.
Jan Bostick died suddenly last Tuesday morning at a hospital in Lufkin at the age of 64. The news of her passing spread quickly throughout the Corrigan area, and almost immediately many of her former students took to social media to pay homage to Bostick and the impression she left upon them.
Bostick had retired from Corrigan-Camden ISD after 27 years of service. As a faculty member with the district, Bostick taught English to a variety of children, from elementary to junior high students. Following her retirement, she continued to serve her community by taking part on the Corrigan Area Heritage Center Board of Directors, where she served in many capacities. CAHC Director Kelly Shadix remembered Bostick with fondness. The two were neighbors for 15 years and Shadix recalled her "almost childlike innocence and enthusiasm for life in general."
"Even the ordinary could be amusing and amazing to her," Shadix said. "I would say one of, possibly THE, most genuinely kind people I've ever had the pleasure of knowing."
Shadix recalled the treats, which "mysteriously" appeared on her kitchen counter and always came with the "sweetest, most thoughtful notes," but the treats and notes were far from the only benefit of having Bostick and her husband Ray as neighbors, she said. "I once did a Facebook challenge for someone to find better neighbors. I had no takers."
Many posts on Facebook written about Bostick attested to her encouraging demeanor in the classroom. One of her former students, Carol Spurlock, a published poet who studied English and creative writing at Stephen F. Austin State University after graduating C-CHS said that Bostick was an avid supporter of her writing. "She was a huge motivator to most of her students," Spurlock said. "She wanted her students to excel."
She recalled when Bostick attended the 10-year class reunion for Spurlock's graduating class, last September. According to Spurlock, Bostick's caring nature for her students extended long after they had darkened the doors of her classroom, and this was evident at the reunion. "She sat down with our yearbook, and tried to recall all the faces. When she noticed there were a few that were missing, she questioned where they were and what they were doing."
In regard to Bostick's post-retirement work with the CAHC, Shadix called her a "godsend." Bostick, together with Shelia Kirkland (another retired C-CISD faculty member) "logged countless hours into archiving the donations," Shadix said.
Bostick's years of experience as an educator also came in handy in the Center's outreach to schoolchildren in developing lesson plans for the schools to incorporate into their curriculum.
Services for Bostick were held on Saturday in the Family Life Center of Corrigan's First Baptist Church, where she was a member. She is survived by her husband of 43 years, Ray, her son Bobby Bostick and fiancé Maria of Livingston; daughter Sherry Duncan and husband Josh of Chester, as well as a multitude of other relatives, friends, and the hundreds of students whose lives she impacted over the years.