Retired rancher, Robert G. “Bob” Boice, 84 died at his home in Globe on June 21, 2012. Bob, born on Jan. 24, 1928, was the second son of Frank Seymour Boice and Mary Grantham Boice. He was raised on the Boice family’s Empire Ranch near Soniota, Ariz. Bob showed his leadership abilities at Tucson High School as a class representative all four years. In college, he was house manager of Phi Gamma Delta Fraternity. Bob married his high school sweetheart and lifetime partner, Miriam Hamilton of Tucson, shortly after they both graduated from the University of Arizona, where Bob earned a degree in Animal Husbandry. They made their first home at the Empire Ranch.
In 1955 they moved to the Slash S Ranch, south of Globe, which the Boice Family owned and operated until 1978. In 1958 they built their home in Globe, raising their family and becoming very active members of the community.
Bob was highly regarded for his volunteerism, dedication, and accomplishments. He was selected Globe “Man of the Year” in 1971 after starting the first 4-H steer project in Globe, “The Gila Mon-Steers 4-H Club.” He was the first Gila Co. Fair & Racing Commission Chairman and a driving force in developing the Gila County Fairgrounds. Bob continued to be active in 4-H the remainder of his life. The Gila Co. Fairgrounds Exhibition Hall was dedicated in his honor in 1995. As President of the Gila County Cattle Growers’ Association, Bob was instrumental in building Burch Sale Yard and conducting the first Association yearling sale which continues today. As a tribute, the 2012 auction was dedicated to Bob and Miriam. He was a member of the National Cattlemen’s Association, a member of the Arizona Cattle Growers’ Association, the Gila County Cattle Growers’ Association, Globe Chamber of Commerce, Gila County Fair Livestock Committee and a strong supporter of the Gila County Historical Museum.
Bob’s contributions to Arizona Ranching were acknowledged in 1998 when he received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the U of A College of Agriculture. Working as a team, he and Miriam were awarded “2000 Cattleman of the Year” by the Globe-Miami Chamber of Commerce. They were once again recognized with an award of “Rancher of the Year” in 2009. He served as Chairman of Gila County’s Screw Worm and Brucellosis Eradication Programs. Both were a great success and made significant improvements to Arizona’s ranching industry.
Since 1960 Bob has supported the Arizona National Livestock Show. He served as Superintendent of the Junior Division for several years. The Arizona National Livestock Show was dedicated to Bob and Miriam in 2005, honoring their many years of service. He also served on the Board of Directors of the Arizona Livestock Production Credit Association, as Chairman of the Arizona Society of Range Management and as a member of the U of A Alumni Board of Directors. One of Bob’s proudest moments was when the Boice family received the 2011 Heritage Award from the U of A College of Agriculture recognizing three generations of Boice U of A Alumni.
In 1986 Bob was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid leukemia. Over the course of many years of treatment at the U of A Medical Center, he was declared cancer free and remained in remission for the rest of his life. He and Miriam then started many years of cruising, climaxing with a cruise to Alaska with all their children and grandchildren to celebrate their 50th Anniversary.
Bob was extremely proud of his children and felt they were the most important accomplishment of his life. All four graduated from college and have successful lives.
In addition to his wife of 62 years, Bob is survived by his children, Mary and husband Bruce Moreton of Danville, Md.; Grant and wife Kristi Boice of Scottsdale, Ariz.; Martha Madani of Oro Valley, Ariz. and Peggy and husband Charles Sands of Lexington, Mo. and San Manuel, Ariz. He is also survived by his eight grandchildren and two great-grandsons.
A fourth generation rancher, he loved the outdoors and what it meant to be a rancher. Bob had a passion for gardening, growing award winning orchids and could grow just about anything from a cutting or seed.
Respected by all who knew him for his kindness, generosity, principles, honesty and integrity, Bob loved life and people. Many considered him their friend.
At Bob’s request there will be no services. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to the Arizona National Livestock Show Scholarship Fund, 1826 W. McDowell Rd., Phoenix, AZ 85007 or the Gila County 4-H Livestock, PO Box 1337, Globe, AZ 85502.