Charles (Chick) Francis Boyer lived a rich, full life for 93 years, happy wherever he was. He was born July 1, 1928, in Mill Spring, Missouri, to Clarence Francis (Jack) Boyer and Bessie Jane (Sharp) Boyer, fourth of their eight children; he died on October 5, 2021, at the Utah Veterans Home in Salt Lake City.
Chick left Missouri at age 16 to join his dad in Taos, New Mexico, where he worked in the timber industry and discovered a life-long affinity for red chile enchiladas. In October 1948, he enlisted in the U.S. Army and was serving with the U.S. occupation forces in Japan when the Korean conflict broke out. He was immediately sent to South Korea to help the Army Combat Engineers build pontoon bridges in the thick of the action. Chick returned home safely and was discharged in June 1952 at Fort Hood, Texas.
Returning to his treasured Taos, Chick worked in the timber industry for his dad and Marko Perovich for several years. As the beautiful fall colors appeared in September 1956, he drove east to St. Louis to elope with the love of his life, a young widow named Wilma (Westmoreland) Twidwell. In the process, he gained a daughter, Pamela Kathryn, whom he adopted in 1958. He was a devoted loving husband and father for the rest of his life.
Chick and his family left Taos in 1965, and lived in Artesia, Albuquerque, and Moriarty before he and Wilma returned in 2002 to Columbia in their native Missouri. In 2012, they moved to northern Virginia to live near their daughter and her husband, Rick Sayre. At Wilma’s death, Chick made his home with Kathy and Rick, moving to Herriman, Utah, in 2014. He took up the banjo in his 70s, enjoyed oil painting, and loved to travel.
He always relished a road trip—especially the RV trip with friends Duane and Mary Ann Walker to Alaska. In 2019 he accompanied Kathy and Rick on a cross-country drive. The old Korean War vet was quite popular at the annual Association of the US Army Conference in downtown Washington, DC, as he flitted about the exhibit hall and helped out in the Preserve the Pensions War of 1812 project booth with the Federation of Genealogical Societies. Chick and Kathy then drove on to visit friends in North Carolina, returning home through St. Louis and Poplar Bluff to visit family. His last road trip, just before Covid shut down his active lifestyle, was accompanying Kathy and Rick to Albuquerque and Santa Fe, southern New Mexico, and to Tucson and Phoenix to visit family. He really enjoyed visiting places where the family had lived while he was working highway and pipeline construction. He helped build the airport in Alamogordo, laid gas lines to Santa Fe Downs when it was built, and helped lay gas and water lines throughout New Mexico.
Chick made many friends at the Riverton (Utah) Senior Center where he went for lunch every weekday, and he truly enjoyed the jam sessions with other musicians there. He drove his little Jeep until a stroke at almost 90 led his physician (forever after known as the “damndoctor”) to recommend revocation of his license.
Chick didn’t get to 93, survive two heart bypass surgeries, prostate cancer, and diabetes by being foolish. He quit smoking, watched his diet, exercised faithfully, and when Covid hit the news and the facts became known, he cheerfully “holed up” with family at home for more than a year, using great caution to protect himself and others from the dangers of Covid. When the vaccine became available, he received his shots immediately. A fall in April 2021 cost Chick his independence and ability to care for himself. He was extremely fortunate to gain a place in the Christofferson Veterans Home in Salt Lake City where he was well cared for and received everything he needed. Therapists worked with him until he was able to walk again. He was settling in and feeling more at home there when Covid found its way into the VA Home and infected him and more than a dozen other residents, who had all been vaccinated. Chick passed away shortly after 4:30 a.m. on Tuesday morning, October 5, 2021.
Charles is survived by his daughter, Pamela Kathryn Sayre and son-in-law Rick Sayre, COL (Ret.) US Army, of Herriman, Utah; half-siblings Kelly F. Boyer of Nevada; Bill Boyer of Martinez, CA; George (Carol) Boyer and Clarence F. Boyer of Tucson, AZ; Lilly (Albino) Martinez and Sadie F. Boyer of Taos, NM; and Lisa Best of Apache Junction, AZ; and many nieces, nephews, and grands. He was preceded in death by his wife, Wilma, in March 2014, his parents, siblings Wilma Elreta Bennett, Zona Twidwell, Jack D. Boyer, Helen Christine Aldridge, Erma Vestine Yount, Shirley Reynolds, and Jerry D. Boyer; half siblings Jim Boyer, Alvera Pauline Boyer, and Mary Ann Martinez.
Because of delays caused by Covid, funeral services will take place at Rivera Funeral Home in Taos, New Mexico, at 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 9, 2021. A procession will leave at 12:00 noon for the 2:15 p.m. brief military honors service at Santa Fe National Cemetery, Santa Fe, New Mexico. Please be vaccinated and wear a mask if you plan to attend these services.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in Charles F. Boyer’s name to the American Heart Association or a charity of your choice.