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Albuquerque, NM 87109
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Richard J. Boyle

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Richard J. Boyle Obituary
Boyle, Richard J.

Richard ("Dick") Boyle, a victim of Alzheimer's Disease when he was 80, succumbed at age 85 to its ravages on April 22, 2016.

His was a life of amazing achievements and recognition. From a small town in MA, to the North Pole, to a Fire Station named for him the Good Lord shone his grace upon servant Dick Boyle and now his pain and worries are no more. God bless you Dick and may you rest in the bosom of our Lord and savior knowing your life had great meaning over a broad swath of the world.

Born in Ayer, MA, the eldest of three boys, he was to experience tragedy as a teen when his father left their home. Dick wanted to attend a local private school so badly that, every August during apple picking season, he worked in the orchards until he had the funds for the next year's tuition. When it came time for college a classmate's family, seeing how hard Dick worked, loaned him the funds to enroll in RPI (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute) near Albany, NY. There, he was able to take a competitive exam for a Navy scholarship that would cover the rest of his tuition (later he was able to reimburse the family who helped him).

Dick was a solid student, played on the varsity RPI ice hockey team(almost won a national championship), but "discovered" the Navy when his PNS (Professor of Naval Science) Bob Weeks took some of the Midshipmen to New London, CT, for a visit to its submarine base. This visit changed his entire life. Everything thereafter was a by-product of his burgeoning love of submarines.

Commissioned an Ensign upon graduation and assigned to an Atlantic Fleet destroyer, when he qualified as an Office-of-the-Deck (OOD) underway, he then immediately volunteered for the submarine force and was selected to return to New London for Sub School. After graduation he was posted to a diesel boat but in 1954, with NAUTILUS commissioning nuclear power was here and only 1 of 3 who applied were accepted, he being one of them. His first "nuke" assignment was to the USS SKATE given the task of re-visiting the North Pole (in 1958 NAUTILUS had become the first ship of any kind able to reach it). When SKATE reached the Pole, junior officer Boyle was "honored" to be put out on the ice with camera and photograph the historic achievement.

After nine years of submarine experience, then a Lieutenant (2 stripes), tragedy struck. During his annual physical it was discovered he had high blood pressure and no longer eligible for sea duty. one of the darkest days of his life, and was honorably discharged.

But Dick was always a fighter. As a civilian, with an engineering degree from prestigious RPI, he went to San Diego where the Navy had its Submarine Arctic Research Lab and applied for a job. The Lab was delighted for he was a (1) qualified engineer but also (2) one with seven years of submarine experience. Dick and the Lab were an excellent match! Tasked to map the entire topography of the Artic bottom, submarines would take a couple Lab engineers to sound the bottom and make other observations. Not one of the Lab engineers were ex-submarine "Nukes" and Dick soon became the unofficial champion of the Lab. He made 15 research trips to the Arctic, five of which involved surfacing at or near the North Pole. From those trips in 1985 he received a rare Navy tribute for Superior Civilian Service of exceptional value and of great benefit to the Navy.

Before retirement from the Lab, and civil service, for one of his vacations he visited his nuke school neighbor, from across the hall, Jamie Deuel who had retired in New Mexico. On one of several visits, Jamie took Dick to Chama to see the tall majestic, Ponderosa acreage for sale he had bought and Dick followed suit. Years later Dick donated some of his undeveloped property for a volunteer fire station which they (at Jamie's suggestion) named after him.

For over 25 years Dick traveled the world working on "Test Depth," a definitive history" of the world's submarines. But in 2010 Dick called Jamie and, with emotion in his voice said he could no longer manage his affairs and would Jamie take over? Realizing there was no one else living as close as he was with his history, he accepted as the Power of Attorney. As to Dick's life long goal, "Test Depth", it lay in draft since no printer could be found, Jamie decided to send a draft to the Submarine Force Museum and Library in Groton, CT, where hallelujah, they made 20 copies (490 pages ea.) but loosely bound. Jamie then found an ABQ printer who properly bound the pages in a beautiful, padded cover that he distributed to Dick's associates and key friends.

Besides the legacy of "Test Depth" Dick has a song dedicated to him by sailor Bobby Reed, During the "Cold War" detent, with a Russian captain of board Reeds sub, learning he was also a talented musician, the Russian asked why didn't he write something about Dick. The outcome was a CD, "The Ballad of Dick Boyle" by Bobby Reed.

Graveside services will be held at Santa Fe National Cemetery; 501 N Guadalupe St, Santa Fe, NM 87501; at 11:15 am; on Wednesday, May 4, 2016.

Please visit www.danielsfuneral.com

Daniels Family Funeral Services

7601 Wyoming Blvd. NE

Albuquerque, NM 87109

Published in Albuquerque Journal on May 1, 2016
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