Funeral mass held at Notre Dame for beloved former Chairman Mike Boyce
A funeral service was held at the University of Notre Dame’s Basilica of the Sacred Heart for former Cobb County Chairman Mike Boyce. Wife Judy was surrounded by family, friends, and colleagues as the retired U.S. Marine colonel was eulogized.
The Rev. Kevin Sandberg, a University of Notre Dame professor, delivered a moving tribute to Mike as he cited Scripture from Mike’s own bible. He said out loud what many were feeling following Mike’s passing – numbness, speechless, pissed off, angry, defeated.
He honored Mike’s accomplishments and spoke eloquently about his passion and dedication to helping others, saying we need more leaders like Mike who was a ‘deep thinker, deep feeler, deep believer’.
Sandberg reflected on his advocacy saying Mike was willing to move from the safety of the shore to the uncertainty of the deep for others. He also referenced Mike committing 30 years of his life to service in the Marine Corps before retiring in 2001 as a colonel. Two Marines were at the funeral Mass and presented Judy with a U.S. flag to honor Mike’s memory.
Mike and wife Judy had been in Indiana as fellows for The Inspired Leadership Initiative at his alma mater, Notre Dame, in South Bend. After suffering two strokes Mike was hospitalized. He underwent surgery and died several days later at the age of 72.
Thomas Schreier Jr., founding director of the Inspired Leadership Initiative program, said he appreciated Boyce’s passion for learning church history and his overall engagement among the group.
While hospitalized, Judy had shared the following message with friends about Mike:
“He earned his undergraduate degree from Notre Dame and was thrilled to return this past fall to participate in the school’s Inspired Leadership Initiative program. He had never been happier than he was in the past few months, participating in this program, bicycling to campus, and interacting with and mentoring students. He was having the time of his life.”
Born in Brawley, California on Sept. 1, 1949, Mike would go on to dedicate three decades of his life to the military. In 2001, he retired from the U.S. Marine Corps after a long successful career. Mike went on to hold various government and military contract positions before serving as Chairman of Cobb County from 2017 to 2020. As chair, he funded additional green spaces, increased compensation and benefits for all employees, added Veterans Day as a county holiday, and guided the county through a turbulent 2020. He also spent an enormous amount of time helping those in need in South Cobb County.
He went where others refused to go and he selflessly helped the citizens of our community, especially those battling slum lords, rental insecurities, and evictions during Covid.
Mike was an active member of Mt. Bethel United Methodist Church and served three years as the director of the men’s ministry. His volunteer work included Habitat for Humanity and mission trips both in the United States and abroad.
Mike is survived by wife Judy, three children, five grandchildren, two brothers, and other family and friends who loved him and will cherish his memory.
Mike’s family will hold a memorial service in Cobb County on Feb. 18 at 10:00 a.m. at Mt. Bethel United Methodist Church, where Mike was a member.
In his memory, Judy has asked that contributions be made to the Michael H. Boyce Memorial Fund at the University of Notre Dame.
Please direct your gift online at https://giving.nd.edu/Boyce; by phone at 574-631-5150; or by mail to the University of Notre Dame, Department of Development, 1100 Grace Hall, Notre Dame, IN 46556.
A message was posted on caringbridge.org on behalf of Judy that said the following:
“I want to thank all of you who have written by card and social media. You have brought much comfort to me and our family. Many of you have expressed concern about military honors. All military honors will be conducted at his interment at Arlington National Cemetery at a date to be determined in the future.”