Georgiana Sykes Boyer MD & John T. Boyer MD
October 9, 2004
We met John in September, 1951, as we entered Harvard Medical School, and maintained our friendship visiting back and forth between Arizona and Massachusetts through the years. We never were involved in his professional life, but knew his family, many of his friends, and much of his extraordinary life. We are shocked and acutely bereaved by his death. He visited us last spring and wrote a great letter to us a few days before his death, glowing with the description of his son Ken’s marriage in Boston and of plans to attend the second marriage ceremony in Kazahkstan.
John was unusual in many ways, and these attributes were uniquely his from an early time. He was attracted to new ideas and reveled in exploring them. He was delighted with the new ideas of others, without jealousy. He enjoyed argument, too, but usually friendship survived disagreement. The amazing thing was how many people he could maintain a close relationship to, how many people thought of him as a special friend. Thanks to an awesome memory, he could “take up where we left off” with friends he hadn’t seen in years.
One of his most impressive characteristics was revealed in one-on-one conversation. He listened better than anyone we’ve ever known — whether to friend, patient, adult or child. One felt important, interesting, and cared for in his presence and by his existence. We will miss him terribly. Our love and sympathy go to his family and we share the grief of the many others who loved and admired him.
Georgiana Sykes Boyer M.D. & John T. Boyer M.D.