This weekend, when I received word that Assistant City Administrator Bo Moddelmog had passed away, I, like most people, was terribly saddened. Bo was incredibly kind and helpful to me when I first moved to McPherson and was getting settled in my new role. I will forever be grateful for the patience and kindness he extended to me.
Once the sad news sunk in, I knew I needed to grab Bo’s file and get started on an article. In the newspaper world, we keep files on community leaders. They are helpful in times like this, as they contain facts and previous news pieces about individuals. For being so young, Bo has an impressive file. He was quite involved in the community, participating in leadership activities, community events and city business. His file was full of accomplishments, a life to be proud of.
But there was something missing in the file, something we can never clip from the paper and file away for a future day. That something is how Bo made others feel and how he impacted their lives. That information can only be gleaned from family, friends and co-workers. Not surprisingly, Bo has a large group of people in the community more than willing to share how Bo impacted their lives.
As I interviewed people, there became a common theme. Bo was a Christian who loved his God, his family and friends and his community. He displayed integrity and kindness. He was quick to help others but shy to accept recognition. He made people feel heard, valued and appreciated. The kind, gentle man I knew for just a short while has existed in this community for 30 years and made an impact that will be remembered for years to come.
Now that my interviews are complete and Bo’s file has been put away, I can’t help but wonder what we all could do to make sure our files and our lives are more like Bo’s. At the end of the day, Bo’s accomplishments are noteworthy; he was a young man destined for great things. But the most important things—the way he loved and cared for others—are the most impactful.
We could all use a little more time with Bo, but that won’t happen now. Instead, we can all remember him by taking steps each day to be a little more like Bo. Our community and the people we love will be better off for it. Just like our community was improved by Bo’s presence.
Our thoughts and prayers are with Bo’s family, friends and co-workers.
Jessie Wagoner, editor