Back in the late 1980s, Billie A. Boykins made The New York Times. She was the City's license collector disputing her ouster from office by the Missouri Supreme Court following the release of a scathing audit. Board votes, lock-outs, and lawsuits ensued. I remember writing a newspaper op-ed defending her legal position. The then-mayor retreated to a "safe house.'? It was not probably a high point in St. Louis politics. But, it was also not the end of Billie Boykins.
In the years that followed, Ms. Boykins shifted her emphasis. She continued a career of public service by involving herself in a hundred low-profile charitable enterprises, most of which were aimed at helping children. I considered her a friend. I note her passing with sadness and I offer my condolences to her family.