Ezell “E.M.” Boyce, 94, was born March 24, 1925, in Humboldt, Kansas, the son of T.L. and Marie Martin Boyce. He died June 13, 2019, at his home in Americus, Kansas.
E.M. is survived by his son, Steve, of Admire; a sister, Betty Kershaw and her husband, Jerry, of Norman, Oklahoma; grandchildren Jon Boyce, Dan Boyce, Hallie Wilson, Sally Finlayson and Brooks Boyce; and six great-grandchildren.
He married Betty Elaine Featherkile in Emporia on June 19, 1946. She preceded E.M. in death, as did a sister, Shirley Weide, and an infant brother.
In the last decade of his life, Denise Lieurance and her son, Ryan Isbell, both of Americus, became like a second family for E.M.
E.M. was a graduate of Hartford High School and the University of Madison, Wisconsin, School of Banking.
He served in the United States Army during World War II and was honorably discharged in 1946.
In a long and varied career, E.M. was a railroad agent, banker and always an entrepreneur. He was vice president of the Stark State Bank and First National Bank of Thayer, then was president and owner of the Strawn State Bank in New Strawn Kansas. His banking career spanned two decades, and he was instrumental in building the careers of farmers, ranchers and businessmen from southeast to central Kansas.
He had an insatiable curiosity and ambition that led to owning or co-owning over 30 businesses. Notable among these are The Strawn State Bank, Arrowhead Hills Golf Course, Arrowhead Hills Construction, Arrowhead Hills Sand and Gravel, Hi-Bo Truck Beds, B&H Fertilizer and Farms, JEM LP Gas Company, JEM Heating and Plumbing, and many, many more.
Junior Hill of Stark; Lt. Col. Bernard (Bing) Hayen, formerly of New Strawn; and Jimmie Jackson, New Strawn, were E.M.’s trusted partners in many of these businesses.
He loved his family very much; especially supporting and attending their athletic events. He and his wife, Betty, never missed a game, school program or any activity. He instilled a strong work ethic in his family, involving his son and grandchildren in his businesses at every opportunity and from an early age.
He was a trusted friend to all, a mentor to many, and a unique person in every way. He didn’t know a stranger – he reached out to everyone. He will be sorely missed.
E.M. will be cremated, and visitation and a memorial service will be held June 20 at Radiant Life Church in New Strawn, Kansas. Visitation will be at 10, and the memorial service at 11.
Internment will be with his wife, Betty, in the Dunlap cemetery.