Brunswick - Dave was born in 1944 in Long Beach, California, to Norman Boyles and Elizabeth Lukert Boyles. He was two months premature in a time when this did not bode well. While his mother thought he was beautiful, upon seeing a picture of baby Dave, his grandmother hopped on the next train from Kansas City so that she could see him while he was still alive. The doctors did not use the hospital incubators on babies with low chances of survival, but Elizabeth fixed that problem on her own. She took him home, put him in a shoebox, kept him toasty warm in the kitchen oven, and her son (obviously) lived far longer than anyone expected.
Norman was an airman, so the family moved all over the country during Dave’s childhood, with stops in Delaware, New Mexico, Oregon, and most significantly, Montana. It was there, in Big Fork, that he took a job pumping gas and playing piano in a bar. He was introduced to Donna, who waitressed at the local diner. After they finished their college educations, they were rarely separated for over 50 years.
After he and Donna married, they moved to Springfield, Oregon, where she taught math and he finished his Master’s degree at the University of Oregon. The next August, he and Donna drove through eastern Oregon in a car without air conditioning. They agreed that they’d have to be out of their minds to live there. Sure enough, within a year they had relocated to The Dalles, where they spent the next 36 years. They were blessed with four children; Robin (1971), Doug (1973), Kerstin (1975), and Alanna (1979). Dave and Donna made many contributions to the community, including service with Gateway Presbyterian Church and volunteering with numerous sports teams, including TDHS track, soccer, and softball. Like most teachers, Dave also spent his summers working in the cherry orchards and the wheat fields, developing legendary farmer’s tans.
Dave and Donna’s four children migrated to New York and Massachusetts to put down their own roots. In 2004, following one of many long drives home after visiting their grandchildren, they remarked to each other, “We are going the wrong direction.” Within weeks, they finished the house they had been remodeling for a quarter century, put it on the market, and relocated to Brunswick, New York. They quickly found and embraced a new church family, this time with the Brunswick Church. Dave unpacked his referee uniforms and spent many happy seasons officiating soccer games in the Capital District, before his joints got too creaky and he could no longer outrun the kids. He then focused even more of his attention on the church, directing both music and facilities management. He and Donna, never at ease in a finished dwelling, also spent their spare time working on their home and garden.
While he could adjust his lifestyle to accommodate wonky ankles and shoulders, pancreatic cancer was insurmountable. However, his faith brought him comfort and acceptance of the path before him. In a letter to family and friends in February, Dave said the following:
“I am not concerned about dying. I know where I’m going. I am in grief for leaving Donna and the rest of the family earlier than might have happened. No one ever knows the number or his days. Mine just appear to be somewhat less than I had thought previously.”
On Saturday, May 25, 2019, he passed away at his home, with Donna holding his hand.
Survivors in addition to his wife include his four children, Robin (Jason) Snyder, Reading, MA; Douglas Boyles, Beacon, NY; Kerstin (Christopher) Aukerman, Natick, MA; and Alanna (Brian) Moran, Gansevoort, NY; eight grandchildren, Cole, Alexander, Elijah, Noah, and Seth Snyder; Christopher Aukerman II; and Kayleen and Brenna Moran. He has a sister, Nancy (Steven) Lindsey, Corvallis, OR. Nephew Benjamin (Sara) Lindsey is an honorary member of the Boyles clan.
Relatives and friends may call at the Brunswick Church, 42 White Church Lane, Troy, New York, on Saturday June 1, 2019 from 9-11 AM with a funeral service to follow at 11 AM. Rev. Henry Kim and Rev. Harry Heinz will co-officiate.
Dave was a passionate believer in helping others. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in memory of David Alan Boyles to the US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (https://refugees.org) or to the Brunswick Church Pantry.
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