Friends Spotlight: Veta Boswell
Welcome to our new series, Friends Spotlight, where we interview one of the fabulous Friends of the Arboretum. The Friends of the Arboretum are a treasured group of distinguished members who are committed to supporting our groundbreaking horticulture, education and research efforts through an annual gift beginning at $3,500. Benefits of being a Friends member are many, such as concert tickets, private golf cart tours, invitations to exclusive events and more.
We are so thrilled to honor one of our favorite long-time supporters here at the Dallas Arboretum, Mrs. Veta Boswell, who just celebrated her 90th birthday. Veta’s legacy is evident in her major capital contributions, particularly the Boswell Family Garden’s elegant and many-hued roses. We would not be the same without her, and we hope you will enjoy learning a little more about this remarkable woman.
Veta was born August 7, 1929, in Euless, TX where her father and uncle ran the only general store. Her father, Warren Riley Fuller, went on to become the first Mayor of Euless. Despite the substantial hardships of the Great Depression and World War II, Veta attributes her memorable and happy childhood to the small rural town.
“The Euless community looked out for one another,” she said.
After graduating from The University of Texas with a Degree in Home Economics, Veta became a dietitian at Parkland Hospital. There, she met and fell in love with an orthopedic surgeon, Dr. George M. Boswell, Jr. They married in 1958. Dr. Boswell worked for several years of his residency in the emergency room at Parkland, and later opened a private Orthopedic practice in East Dallas with a surgical affiliation at Baylor University Medical Center. George and Veta were blessed with three daughters: Brianna Brown, Kama Koudelka, and Maia Boswell-Penc.
George and Veta built their Lakewood home in 1959. Famed architect Naud Burnett (who also has designed much of the Dallas Arboretum) designed and landscaped the remarkable gardens for their home. This stoked the flames of George’s passion for landscape art and gardening, and encouraged Veta’s involvement with the Yosemite Garden Club for many years.
In the 1990s and early 2000s, George and Veta began to take personal interest in the Dallas Arboretum through their friends Naud Burnett, Neil Sperry, Dave Forehand, and Warren Johnson. From 1992 to 1999, George served on the Dallas Arboretum Board of Directors.
In 2006, George gave a Christmas gift to his family by honoring them with The Boswell Family Garden. It was named “El Inesperado”, meaning “the unexpected” in Spanish. This gift was so meaningful to the Boswells and had a very appropriate name. Veta says “It was located in a place near and dear to our hearts, next to the Sunken Garden, and it was definitely an unexpected surprise!”
Veta has so many memories shared with family, friends and eight grandchildren at the Arboretum. The annual Friends spring dinner in the Jonsson color garden, tea at the Restaurant DeGolyer at Christmas, and Cool Thursdays concert nights at the Rutchik Concert Lawn are all favorites. Perhaps Veta’s most precious Arboretum memory to date is her granddaughter’s wedding in the Lay Family Garden, with a reception on the Camp House lawn. Though Dr. Boswell had passed away in 2011, the family “knew that George was right there with them when the beautiful couple arrived at the altar. A bright red cardinal flew in, perched itself on the arbor, and began to sing.”
Veta continues to donate to the arboretum for numerous reasons: for the joy and beauty that the Dallas Arboretum gives to her and her family, the education it provides to children and families from all over the world, and continuing the legacy of her husband’s generosity. We are forever grateful to Veta and the whole Boswell family.
To learn more about becoming a Friend of the Arboretum like Veta, please visit the membership page or call Samantha Mitchell at 214-515-6548.