“Not all angels play the harp and sing . . . some are Warriors!”
Capt. Bruce H. Boyle was born in Lexington on June 26, 1958. He was called home unexpectedly by our Lord on May 9, 2020 in Suffolk, Va.
Bruce H. Boyle and Jane L. Rasmussen were married on Oct. 2, 1981 in Ft. Dodge, Iowa. Sharing an epic love story, Bruce and Jane were blessed with 38 years of marriage.
Bruce is preceded in death by his father, Dale Franklin Boyle, and mother, Harriet Cleland Boyle; paternal grandparents, Herbert and Stella Boyle, maternal grandparents, Lyle and Zora Cleland.
Bruce graduated from Smith Center, Kan., high school. He went on to earn a bachelor of science degree from the University of Nebraska, and a master of divinity from North American Baptist Theological Seminary. He was selected for the Navy Post-Graduate program and graduated from Princeton Theological Seminary with a masters of theology degree and a Navy sub-specialty in counseling.
Additionally, Capt. Boyle was a graduate of the United States Air Force Air Command and Staff College, earning a Joint Professional Military Education certification with a Navy sub-specialty. He was ordained a minister by the Baptist General Conference on Dec. 10, 1989.
Capt. Boyle served God and Country 34 years as a United States Military Chaplain, 1986-1991 in the U.S. Army Reserve and Nebraska Army National Guard. In September 1991 Bruce was commissioned into the United States Navy (USN) as an active duty Chaplain. After commissioning, Capt. Boyle’s first assignment was to the USS HARRY E. YARNELL (CG 17) - Norfolk, Va. He then served overseas for multiple commands in Japan; Naval Radio and Receiving Activity – Kamiseya, Naval Air Facility – Atsugi, with coverage responsibilities for USMC at Camp Fuji and Naval squadrons training on Iwo Jima.
He was then assigned to the Second Marine Division – Camp Lejeune, N. C., and then the Naval Air Technical Training Command (NATTC) – Pensacola, Fla. While serving in Pensacola, FL, Capt. Boyle was selected for the Navy’s Post Graduate (PG) School and attended Princeton Seminary – Princeton, N. J.
Following PG school, he was assigned to the Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island – Beaufort, S. C., and then the USS WASP (LHD 1) – Norfolk, Va. Following his tour on the WASP, he was assigned to Marine Aircraft Group 31 – Beaufort, S. C., and for one year, to the Second Marine Expeditionary Brigade – Afghanistan as the Air Combat Element Command Chaplain for Marine Aircraft Group 40.
Following his Afghanistan tour, he served as the Regional Chaplain to two Regions, the Navy Region Mid-Atlantic and Navy Region Mid-West. He then was assigned to Navy Expeditionary Combat Command and was the only TYCOM Chaplain in the Navy with world-wide asset responsibilities. Capt. Boyle was selected by the Navy Chief of Chaplains for his final assignment as Atlantic Area Chaplain for United States Coast Guard Atlantic in December of 2016.
Capt. Boyle’s personal military awards include the Legion of Merit (Two Gold Stars), Meritorious Service Medal (Two Gold Stars), Navy Commendation Medal (Three Gold Stars), Navy Achievement Medal (One Gold Star), Army Achievement Medal, as well as numerous campaign medals and unit ribbons.
Bruce loved riding his Harleys, all things NASCAR, and helping others. Most of all, his favorite pastime was just spending time with Ms. Jane, the love of his life. Capt. Boyle leaves a lasting legacy of service to others. Bruce always put others first, serving as a mentor to countless young Chaplains, touching the lives of 1,000’s of Sailors, Marines, and Coast Guard personnel. In essence, he was a true American Hero! Bruce changed our world for the better. He will be missed!
Baker-Foster Funeral Home, 5685 Lee Farm Lane, Suffolk, Va., is serving the family. Condolences may be registered at RWBakerFH.com. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to some of Bruce’s passions: “Gimme Shelter” (supports rescued animals) www.gimmeshelterofsmithfield.com, Shriners Hospital for Children, www.donate.lovetotherescue.org , Vetshouse, Inc. (serving homeless veterans in Hampton Roads, Va.) www.vetshouseinc.org