Monday, February 18, 2013

RIP Glenn Boyer



Noted Earp historian Glenn Boyer dies in Tucson

“Boyer was a giant in the field of Earp history,” said Ben Traywick, historian emeritus of Tombstone and noted Old West author. “Nobody could touch him.”

Boyer was born in a log cabin in Wisconsin and, influenced by the attack on Pearl Harbor, enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps in 1943. In 1944, he was commissioned a second lieutenant and pilot. In 1947, he joined the Alaska Air Command and served there until 1949.

Over his 22-year military career, Boyer held several posts, including training officer of airborne radio officers for the Air Defense Command, Management Analysis, Air Operations Officer in Greenland and with the Pacific Air Forces. His most significant contribution was a statistical analysis of the F-100 aircraft that proved that overuse was leading to accidents and the planes needed more down time. The Air Force took his suggestions, resulting in saving an estimated 24 aircraft and an undeterminable number of pilots.

After retiring from the Air Force in 1965 as a lieutenant colonel, Boyer started his long quest in the field of Wyatt Earp. His childhood fascination with Earp culminated in a 40-year journey of exhaustive research. His many Earp contacts in California provided insights and history of the fabled Western hero. His closest contact was with Wyatt’s niece and husband, Estelle and Bill Miller, who provided previously unknown information and memorabilia.

Boyer didn’t stop with Wyatt. His research took him through the entire Earp family, including Wyatt’s brothers, Virgil and Morgan, who along with Earp cohort Doc Holliday were participants in the famous gunfight at the O.K. Corral.

Boyer lived in Tucson at the time of his death but also had lived and did research in much of Cochise County. His quest left nothing to chance and along the way he cultivated hundreds of sources dealing with the Earp story. One particular contribution was the details and background of Mattie Earp, Wyatt’s second wife, whose real name was Celia Blaylock.

Over the years, Boyer expanded his writing to include the popular “Dorn” series, a fictional Old West character. He also wrote several books relating to Gen. George Custer, including one popular fiction offering, “Custer, Terry and Me.” He also was a significant contributor to several Western  magazines, Arizona Highways, Popular Mechanics, Retired Officer and several scholarly journals. His last book, “Where the Heart Was,” is a fictional semi-autobiography depicting much of Boyer’s childhood. It was published in 2009.

Mr. Boyer is survived by his wife, noted poet and novelist Jane Candia Coleman; a son, Donald, of Hawaii; and a stepson, Daniel Coleman, of Arizona.

BOYER, Glenn G.
Born: 1/5/1924, Wisconsin, U.S.A.
Died: 2/14/2013, Tucson, Arizona, U.S.A.

Glenn Boyer’s western – writer:
I Married Wyatt Earp (TV) – 1983 [writer]

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