Jane Boeckmann, the first lady of Galpin Motors and matriarch of the Southern California auto-dealership family, has died at age 90, according to family members. Her life story — which included piloting planes and driving race cars, as well as myriad honors for both business and humanitarian endeavors — was surely worthy of a movie.
She died April 28 of pancreatic cancer, according to her family.
Working with her husband, Bert Boeckmann, she helped to turn Galpin Motors into one of the most prominent dealerships in the region.
A gifted interior designer, she helped create interiors for a series of motor homes that became the top-selling vehicles in their class statewide. She was also a licensed pilot who traveled across the country and a racer who was part of a Galpin team that broke the 24-hour endurance race land-speed record at Willow Springs, Calif.
Boeckmann was born Floy Jane McCord on Nov. 8, 1930, in Van Buren, Ark., to parents Albert Lee McCord and Mamie Schuster. She moved to Los Angeles when she was 11 years old.
She was an excellent student, which allowed her to skip the 8th grade while still being named valedictorian, according to her family. She later studied at Scotland’s University of Edinburgh.
While working with her husband, H.F. “Bert” Boeckmann II, she served as treasurer and corporate director at Galpin Motors. Over the years, the business expanded from a tiny three-car dealership into an automotive enterprise with a large showroom, a retail store, restaurant and other amenities. Its in-house customizing shop, known as Galpin Auto Sports, was featured for three seasons on the popular reality TV show “Pimp My Ride.”
Jane Boeckmann behind the wheel of a Galpin Motors race car. Courtesy photo
Bert Boeckmann started working as a salesman in his early 20s in 1953. He rose quickly through the ranks, becoming Galpin’s manager and eventually taking the helm as owner in 1964. He secured deals with multiple brands, including Ford, Volkswagen, Lincoln, Subaru, Honda, Mazda, Volvo, Jaguar and Aston Martin.
“In business, she was my constant companion,” said Boeckmann, the company’s chairman and CEO, in 2017, after Jane received the Star of the Valley Award in Business. “Wherever I had an issue where I felt I was not qualified, I turned to her.”
For 25 years, Jane Boeckmann was publisher and editor-in-chief of Valley Magazine, which profiled San Fernando Valley’s businesses and chronicled the region’s social, cultural and civic life.
“I wanted to see a magazine that had a good image … a clean, fresh image that still had a lot of style and sophistication and reflected the Valley as a wonderful place, as I think it is, and a unique place,” she told the LA Times in 1986.
The Valley Press Club voted Boeckmann its Newsmaker of the Year in 1981 for her work making the area a better place to live and work.
Her volunteer work included overseeing the delivery of medical supplies and other humanitarian aid in Europe and West Africa. She served under the supervision of Mother Teresa while providing support …read more
Source:: Los Angeles Daily News
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