Passings: Faculty of Science Professor Emeritus Michael Boyer

Michael Boyer

Faculty of Science Professor Emeritus Michael Boyer died Nov. 13 at the Sunnybrook Veteran’s Centre at the age of 94.

Prof. Boyer was loved and respected by his colleagues, students and graduates. Boyer is remembered for his devotion to the natural world and trees.

During his early years, Prof. Boyer served as a gunner in the 4th Field Regiment in the Canadian Army during the Second World War. After his years of service, Prof. Boyer returned to school to study botany at Guelph’s Ontario Agricultural College. He then attended Iowa State University and studied forest pathology. After graduation, he worked in Quebec with the Federal Department of Forestry. Prof. Boyer joined York University in the 1960s as one of the first professors of biology. Prof. Boyer was a botanist and plant pathologist. He retired from York University at age 65.

“Professor Boyer, or Dr. B as we called him, was one of the nicest people you could ever meet and someone to look up to,” said Michael Belanger, who was Boyer’s last graduate student (MSc ’90) and is now a Biology Lab Technician in the Department of Biology at York University. “He had a great influence on my life and was a great mentor. He taught me that you should give to others what you learn, share your knowledge with the world.”

From a 1999 news York University Gazette story, this image shows Professor Emeritus (biology) Michael Boyer, Vice-President (University Advancement) Gary J. Smith and Dean of Pure & Applied Science Robert Prince have the honour of planting trees stemming from Sir Isaac Newton’s family estate

A woodlot on York University’s Keele Campus was named The Michael G. Boyer Woodlot in recognition of his years of service to the University and for his tireless efforts to enhance the campus environment by conserving and expanding its woodlots.

Following the death of his wife Joan, Prof. Boyer moved to the Sunnybrook Veteran’s Centre. He was an active volunteer with the horticultural therapist at Sunnybrook in the K-Wing and Dorothy Macham Home Gardens.

Prof. Boyer is survived by his children Pamela, George and Richard and his grandchildren Chris, James, Emily, Charlotte and Michael.

A memorial service for Prof. Boyer will be held on Nov. 28 at 11 a.m. with a reception to follow. The service will take place at St. Leonards Church, 25 Wanless Avenue in Toronto. All are welcome.