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Edward John Boyle, 93, of O'Neill, died Saturday, Aug. 12, 2023 at his home in O'Neill.
Visitation was held on Tuesday, Aug. 15, 2023 at Biglin's Mortuary in O'Neill with a parish rosary.
Funeral services were held Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2023 at St. Patrick's Catholic Church in O'Neill.
Burial was in the O'Neill Cemetery in O'Neill with military rites provided by the O'Neill American Legion Post 93.
Memorials may be made to St. Mary's Catholic School in O'Neill in Edward's name.
Edward was born to Ed and Mary (Barrett) Boyle in 1930 at the family home on the Elkhorn River near Inman. He was the eldest of 12 children, and they grew up working on the family farm and swimming in the river. They were avid 4-H participants, and Ed won some national 4-H prizes in his teens.
Ed attended country school through eighth grade and then St. Mary's High School, graduating in 1948. After high school, he worked on the family farm and in the blue grass fields.
Ed was drafted into the U.S. Marines in 1952 and was stationed in Japan and Hawaii. He was honorably discharged in 1954.
Ed's mother died in 1953 and Ed was appointed guardian of his younger siblings.
After military service he worked for Elliot Construction in O'Neill, Columbus and Bellevue. He joined Niobrara Valley Rural Electric Association in 1955 and worked there until he retired in 1992.
He married Bette Mahony in 1957, and they have seven children.
Ed was a talented maker of almost anything he could imagine and was a master of creating things from found or reclaimed items. When his young family started to outgrow their small house north of O'Neill, he built an addition that tripled the size of the house using mainly salvaged materials and while working a full-time job. He created a playground for his children that was the envy of the neighborhood and included a rotating seesaw/merry-go-round that certainly did not meet modern safety standards but was never dull. He also built, among many other projects, a pop-up camper that slept eight and took his family on vacation from South Dakota to the Lake of the Ozarks. He also built an airboat that converted to a snowmobile and looked so exotic it stopped traffic. He converted a retired school bus into a “motor home” painted in shades of green and the family spent most summer weekends at Ft. Randall, boating and camping in the old green bus.
After retirement, Ed devoted much of his time to woodworking and produced many beautiful items. All of his children have furnished their houses with his furniture, and St. Patrick's Church contains many examples of his work, including the wooden cross behind the altar.
Edward is survived by his wife of 66 years Bette Boyle; his seven children and spouses Kathy (Jim) Parsons of Dallas, Texas, Ed (Karen) Boyle of Creighton, John (Christi) Boyle of O'Neill, Rick (Kathy) Boyle of Norfolk, Joe (Ann) Boyle of Scottsbluff, Paula (Bob) Atkeson of O'Neill and Ann (Ryan) Crumly of Page; 25 grandchildren; 24 great-grandchildren; and one sister Margaret Posch of Cheney, KS.
He was preceded in death by his parents Edward Patrick and Mary (Barrett) Boyle, seven brothers, three sisters and one great-grandchild.
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