March 9, 1926 ~ January 21, 2005
Boyce, Merle Hunter, MD, passed away January 21, 2005 in Tustin, CA. Born in Wilmington, CA, March 9, 1926, the youngest of 6 children, Dr. Boyce was 78. During WW II, he served in the 8th Air Force as a B-17 ball turret gunner, stationed in England. He received his MD from California College of Medicine and practiced medicine in Southern California for over 48 years. He helped found Bay Harbor Hospital in Lomita, CA, where he served as Chief of Staff, and on the Hospitalâ€™s Board of Directors. An active Republican, Dr. Boyce ran for Congress in 1962, and was a member of the Republican State Central Committee of California. He was an Air Force Reserve Flight Surgeon and Commander and Chief of 414th Medical Services Squadron, March Air Force Base, Riverside, CA. Under his command, the 414th earned the prestigious ''Air Force Outstanding Reserve Medical Unit'' award, and he was named HQ/AFRESâ€™ ''Outstanding Physician of the Year'' in 1994. His passions included gourmet cooking, music, travel, skiing, reading, gardening and thoroughbred racehorses. He was a breeder and owner of ''Confederate Yankee'', an entry in the 100th Kentucky Derby. He is survived by his six children; Lisa (Mike) Shurley of Torrance, Shaunna (Jerry) Webb of Tustin, Randall (Sharon) Boyce of Lawndale, Holly (Stefan) Demetrescu of Irvine, James (Dineke) Boyce of Escondido and Maureen (James) Hickey of Redondo Beach; his 13 grandchildren and 3 great-grandchildren. Viewing will be held Wednesday, January 26, 5:00 P.M to 9:00 P.M. at White and Day's Colonial Mortuary, 901 Torrance Blvd. in Redondo Beach. Funeral Services will be held Thursday,
On the eve of my retirement from the United States Air Force, it comes as a great loss to hear of Col Boyce\’s death. Of the almost 22 years I have been in the military, Col Boyce was the greatest Commander I have had the pleasure to serve under. He will always have a special place in my heart and in my memories. To the family members I send my condolences for your loss of a great man and a great leader.
To the immediate family members of Col Boyce: Dixie and I would like to extend our heartfelt sympathy to you during this time of loss. I never served in his command but did know of many of his achievements and want you to know how wonderful it was to have known him. Dixie adn I extend our sympathy to his large Air Force Reserve family and friends too. Col & Mrs Craft
My favorite memory of Col. Boyce was the first time we set up the Air Transportable Hospital in front of the old hospital. He sent someone to go get the fire department to water down the field. The fireman said that they were “too busy” as they sat at their desks doing nothing in particular. Upon this report Col. Boyce without saying a word, hopped into his golf cart and rode over to the fire house. He promptly came back to the field in short order. In about 3 minutes there was a fire truck pulling up to spray water! He was always a man of action and the best Commander I\’ve ever had the pleasure to work for. My prayers go out to his family for your loss of a phenomenal man. I will never forget the memories and lessons of leadership I\’ve learned from being in his presence. God bless you all.
Our most heartfelt condolences to the family of a dear friend. We have many fond memories from serving with him in the 414th and working with him in establishing the Air Force Reserve Medical Field Training Program at Shepard. He was the first Medical Director of the training program and wrote much of the curiculum. One of the classrooms at the field training site has a plaque dedicated to his commitment and leadership in establishing this most effective and invaluable Air Force Reserve Medical Field Training program. He was a conventionally unconventional leader who only focused on results, he always gave 110% and enspired those around him to the same standard. All those who had the honor of knowing him will miss him.
Col Boyce I will miss you. Your were the epitome of what a Commander should be. The 414th was the greatest unit to be in. My fondest memory is when you would walk down the hallway in your blue slippers and call out to the person you wanted ex:”Brenda get your fat — in here” We all loved you and would do anything for you, in our eyes you could do no wrong or harm. Rest well you need your sleep. Love you Maj Frances Lucas.
I have known Merle all my life.He was my Uncle Deans best friend. In 1974,I had a motorcycle accident and he saved my leg. My backyard backs onto the Bay Harbor Hospital site and evev though the hospital is gone,I will not allow the sacrifices of Merle,Dean ,et al to be forgotten.