Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Tyrie A. Boyer 1924-2013; Longtime Judge Wrote 3 Volumes of Legal Opinions Boyer Was Also a Law Partner of Former Mayor Hans Tanzler

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Tyrie A. Boyer 1924-2013; Longtime Judge Wrote 3 Volumes of Legal Opinions Boyer Was Also a Law Partner of Former Mayor Hans Tanzler

Article excerpt

Byline: Sandy Strickland

Tyrie A. Boyer, the son of a sharecropper who rose to become an appellate judge and the law partner of a former mayor, died Tuesday night. He was 89 and had been in failing health.

Colleagues and family described him as an academic scholar who retained the working man's touch. Judge Boyer liked to delve into his law books and wrote three volumes of appellate opinions, including one involving the notorious Ernest John Dobbert Jr. case. Yet he enjoyed repairing his own cars, doing his own plumbing and electrical work, driving a tractor and hunting deer.

"My father came from very humble beginnings," said his son, Tyrie W. Boyer, a circuit court judge.

Judge Boyer was born on a small farm in Williston, in 1924. In 1941, his family moved to Jacksonville, and he graduated from Robert E. Lee High School. During the Navy, he served in World War II.

Judge Boyer met his wife, Betty, in California while on leave from the Navy, and they married in 1945. She died in 2011. After his discharge, Judge Boyer returned to work as a tune-up specialist at Duval Motor Co. When the G.I. Bill was passed, his wife urged him to go to college, and he became the first member of his family to do so, his son said. He was at the top of his class, both in college and law school, graduating Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Florida in 1954, Boyer said.

He graduated within five years, a course of study which normally requires seven, he said.

Attorney Bill Birchfield said Boyer was a mentor, a class act and a good storyteller.

"He was a better student than he was a mechanic, and he was a great mechanic," Birchfield said. "He had what we used to call 'walking-around sense' in abundance and came to the job with some real-life experiences and a lot of them don't."

Judge Boyer practiced for several years until he was elected judge of the Civil Court of Record of Duval County in 1960, the youngest judge in the state at that time. In 1963, he was appointed by Gov. Farris Bryant to the Circuit Court. He was twice re-elected without opposition. He retired in January 1967 and returned to private law practice.

In 1973, Gov. Reubin Askew named him to Florida's First District Court of Appeal. He later served a two-year term as chief judge. His specialty was property law litigation and, as a judge, he sought to clear up the ambiguity of multiple opinions dealing with the issue, his son said.

In the case of Dobbert, who was executed in 1984 for killing two of his children, Judge Boyer wrote the multiple-page appellate court opinion allowing the two surviving children to sue the city. …

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