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William P. Boyer

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William P. Boyer Obituary
William P. Boyer

Norfolk - William Preston Boyer, 96, died Saturday, August 23rd in Norfolk, Virginia. A son of Julian Flint and Anne Saunders Boyer, he was born January 8th, 1918 in Orange, Virginia. He graduated as President of his class from Orange High School in 1934, and from the Virginia Military Institute in 1938. He received a PhD in Chemistry from the University of Virginia in 1942 where he served as President of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences 1941-42, was a member of the UVa Honor Court, Sigma Xi, and the Raven Society.

He entered the US Army as a 2nd Lt. in February, 1942, and was assigned to the 742nd Light Tank Battalion at Fort Ord, California. He was discharged as a Major in February, 1946. On May 5th, 1945 he married Norma Secrest in Carmel, California.

After the War he returned to Virginia where he became an Instructor in Chemistry at VMI 1946-1947. In July of '47 he joined Virginia Carolina Chemical Corporation in Richmond, and was appointed Vice President of VCC in 1959. When Mobil Oil bought VCC in 1964, Boyer transferred as a Vice President to the Mobil Chemical Co., a division of Mobil Oil Corp., in New York. Although he retired from Mobil in 1973, he continued as a consultant to Mobil Chemical Co. until 1983.

The Boyers lived in Richmond from 1947 to 1970, in Greenwich, CT while he was working in New York with Mobil, and returned to Richmond in 1973 where they remained until 1985. They then moved to Virginia Beach where he had been living until ill health forced him into a nursing facility in Norfolk shortly before his death.

He was preceded in death by his daughter Nancy Boyer Craigie in 2001, and his wife, Norma Secrest Boyer, in 2004. He is survived by children William P. Boyer, Jr., and Ashley Boyer Robinson, seven grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren. A private graveside service will be held at Graham Cemetery in Orange, Virginia. The family asks that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the VMI Keydet Club in Lexington, Virginia.

He was a true Virginia gentleman.

H.D. Oliver Funeral Apts., Norfolk Chapel is handling arrangements. Online condolences may be made at www.hdoliver.com

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Published in The Virginian Pilot on Aug. 28, 2014
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