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Boyle, Neil

Neil Boyle, originally from Fort Macleod, and lately a resident of Courtenay, B.C., died Saturday, Feb. 4 of complications resulting from esophageal cancer. He was 74 years old. Neil had been an active lad in Fort Macleod, recognized for his amazing artistic skill. He produced cartoons and artwork for a wide variety of sources and created the logo-sign for the Java Shop. He played the trombone as a member of the Fort Macleod Band under the direction of Charles Jordon. In addition he was a member of the Macleod Imperials, playing a saxophone. He graduated from the Macleod high school in 1950, then attended a summer session of the Banff School of Fine Arts and in the fall went to the Art Centre School in Los Angeles. He received a Bachelor of Professional Arts degree and became the art director of Muttart Ltd. in Edmonton. Neil lived in Edmonton for a short time, before moving to Los Angeles where he freelanced for Disney and did cartoon books for Disney and Whitman. He later joined as an associate of Group West Inc. As an internationally acclaimed artist, Neil worked in numerous mediums and has worked for ABC Television, Disney Studios, Ford Motor Company, Chrysler Corporation, Mattel, Cosmopolitan Magazine, Saturday Evening Post, Readers’ Digest, Capitol Records, RCA, and the Rand Corporation. In 1976, the United States Postal Service chose Boyle to illustrate a series called ‘Contributors to the Cause’ – four postage stamps commemorating the US Bicentennial. In addition, more than 30 of Boyle’s paintings depicting contemporary events in U.S. military history have been added to the permanent collections of the Smithsonian Institute and the Pentagon in Washington, DC. Neil’s success as an illustrator led him back to Chouinard and Art Center as an instructor, as well as to the California State University, where he was an associate professor at its Long Beach and Northridge campuses. He taught for 15 years at the private California Art Institute in Westlake Village, was a sought-after addition to regional art workshops, and published a series of instructional videos. He received awards of excellence from the Society of illustrators in New York and Los Angeles, and from the Los Angeles Art Directors Club. Before taking leave of commercial illustration to concentrate on producing works of fine art, he was chosen as recipient of the LA Society of Illustrators’ Lifetime Achievement Award. Boyle is a signature member in the Oil Painters of America, and while still living in California he became a senior member of the Federation of Canadian Artists. His work is known for its impressionistic style and vibrant colour. After another 25 years or so, Neil’s desire to return to his roots became a possibility, and he came back to Canada, moving to Courtenay, B.C. Since coming to the Valley he has enjoyed being a part of a thriving art community. Life was good until cancer claimed him. He is survived by his wife Betty; daughter Kay Jackson of Washington state; son Lee Boyle of Southern California and sister Mary Yvonne Dunne of Vancouver. He was predeceased by his parents Dan and Edna Boyle. Friends knew him to be a good, kind man and something of an artistic genius. He will be sorely missed by all who have known him. A funeral mass was held on Saturday, Feb. 11 at Christ the King Parish in Courtenay with Father Paul Murphy, celebrant. Arrangements entrusted to Comox Valley Funeral Home and Crematorium.

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