Chester “Herschel” Boyers

Published 7:12 pm Tuesday, April 16, 2019

“I have never deserved all that I have and have had.  A good wife, good dog, good pick-up, good saws, good tools and good garden.  Ha. And I have had fun,” said Chester “Herschel” Boyers. 

Boyers, 90, passed away comfortably at his home in Windsor on April 11, 2019. 

He is survived by his wife of 70 years, Elizabeth Lackey Boyers and children, Chet, Tommy, Ronnie and Susan. He was preceded in death by daughter Julie, and sons Edwin and Raymond. He was a loving father, grandfather, great-grandfather and uncle with 15 grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren and many nephews and nieces. 

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He was born on March 19, 1929 in Poplar Bluff, Mo., to the late Chester and Grace Boyers. He enlisted in the Navy in 1946 at the age of 17. He left the service and began working as a blaster in the U.S. Potash Mines located outside of Carlsbad, N.M. It was in Carlsbad where he met his honey, Elizabeth “Bo’ Lackey. They were smitten and soon married in Pecos, Texas in September 1948. 

The young family moved to the Ole’ Miller Place on Cane Creek, Mo. in 1951. There, Herschel farmed with his dad and older brother, Robert. He re-enlisted in the Navy in 1953 as a hospital corpsman and worked his way through the ranks to senior chief (E-8) while serving on Guam, Mariana Islands, Armed Forces Institute of Pathology AFIP, Anacostia, Washington DC, Chief of the Laboratory, Bethesda Naval Hospital, Ship’s Corpsman on the Willis A. Lee (DL-4) home port Newport, R.I. and later on the Francis Marion “Swamp Fox” (LPA-249) amphibious transport at home port Norfolk. He served 24 years and retired in 1974 to the family farm in Smithfield and later Windsor. He volunteered at Portsmouth Naval Medical Center, Portsmouth, and with Friends of the Library in Suffolk after retirement. 

Herschel was an avid reader and oral storyteller of some pretty tall tales, usually anecdotal with a humorous ending. He was also capable of curing warts and had many testimonials to prove it. He was an organic gardener extraordinaire and his garden was a year-long love affair, always something to be planted, tended, harvested and preserved. He had a reverence for wood and loved woodworking. His favorite poem that he could recite by heart was “Trees” by Joyce Kilmer. 

Friends and family are welcome to attend the wake, at the Boyers’ Home in Windsor, on Friday, May 3, at 1 p.m. 

“To remember me  … burn what is left of me and scatter the ashes to the winds to help the flowers grow.  If you must bury something, let it be my faults, my weaknesses and all prejudice against my fellow man.  Give my sins to the devil.  Give my soul to God.  If by chance you wish to remember me, do it with a kind deed or word to someone who needs one.  If you do all I have asked, I will live forever,” by Robert N. Test.