During the three weeks when he was home, Timothy R. Boyce never left his baby girl's side and often slept with her on his abdomen, rising to feed and diaper her and then rocking her back to sleep.
"He just sat downstairs in a recliner and held her all night," said his wife, Sharon.
Boyce, 29, of North Salt Lake, Utah, died Dec. 15 of an aneurysm at a German hospital. He was assigned to Fort Carson.
Throughout two deployments, Timothy Boyce worried about his wife's health problems, including non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and blood clots in her lungs.
"He always took care of me," Sharon said. "He was so amazing. I was very blessed to have him for eight years."
Boyce joined the Army two weeks before the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. He wanted to earn money to pay for his education instead of taking free grants. Boyce was never one to accept handouts.
"He used to always say he wanted to come home and have a normal, boring life with his family and raise his children," Sharon said. "He'd say, 'Someday, we'll get rid of all this drama and just have a Tater Tot casserole day.'"
He also is survived by his newborn daughter, Gracelynn; and son, Ammon, 4.