Gerard “Gerry” Paul Boyle, 68, of Cambridge, Maryland, unexpectedly passed away on Tuesday, March 26th, 2019, at his home in Cambridge, MD.
Born July 8th, 1950, in Glasgow, Scotland, Gerry was one of six (6) children born to the late Helen “Nell” McLeod and Owen Francis Boyle. After completion of his primary education, Gerry attended the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. With more than 20 years of service in the British Army, and having built an undeniable reputation amongst his peers, Gerry retired and moved to the US to be closer to his family. One of the proudest moments in Gerry’s life was the day he swore his allegiance to the United States of America.
Now almost 30 years later, Gerry was proud to call Cambridge, MD, his home. While a realtor by profession, his involvement within the local community is what formed his amazing legacy. Gerry would be the first to admit that his extensive military background proved beneficial as he volunteered on many committees either as a team member or in most cases, a leader. But it was IRONMAN Maryland, which has been held now for more than five (5) years, that helped put small-town Cambridge and Dorchester County, on the map as an ideal “racing” destination among the World Triathlon Corporation. Every year, IRONMAN Maryland attracts thousands of competitors and spectators from around the world. And for his continued dedication to the community, Gerry was honored with a “Key to the City” by city and county officials, for consistently driving awareness to the great warmth and beauty of Dorchester County.
Serving as IRONMAN Maryland’s Race Director was very fulfilling to Gerry. He wanted all athletes to feel that the moment they registered for the event, that they were part of a family and they would not have to go through this experience alone. There are many athletes that take part in the race every year, but it’s the rookies or “IRONMAN newbies” that Gerry always set aside extra time. He made it a point to connect these people with experienced coaches and athletes to help them prepare for every aspect of the race. No matter what, Gerry felt obligated that because of what each athlete expends in terms of energy, training, hours and money to compete, that it was an absolute necessity to make himself available to all athletes, old and new, whenever possible.
Being a “quiet hero” is an understatement when describing Gerry. He was responsible for getting the local youth involved in the IRONMAN races. Besides recruiting students to help during the race, Gerry created the ritual where every local elementary and middle school student writes a letter to an athlete as part of a school assignment. When the athletes go to pick-up their information packets the day prior to the race, they each receive a random letter from a local student. The letter may just say something as small as “good luck, I hope you win,” but it is amazing how much it means and motivates every athlete…and even from this small gesture, lifelong friendships have made.
There are many rewarding aspects as a Race Director, but for Gerry, being awarded the “Athletes’ Choice Award” through the World Triathlon Corporation was beyond his expectations. He considered himself very lucky to be able to help produce events that allowed people the opportunity to achieve their own personal goals. He did not accept this award on behalf of himself, but rather as a representative of the work done by the entire community, year after year, making IRONMAN Maryland the success it is today.
Gerry was also one of the first to raise his hand to volunteer for the annual Kite Festival at Sailwinds Park; and many other events associated with local organizations, including Cambridge Main Street and Dorchester Tourism. He was also essential in the development of the “Six Pillars Century Blackwater Tour” which is an annual bike race created through the Mid-Shore Character Counts Program that exists within the local school system.
Preceding his death, Gerry was serving as the 2019 Chairman of the Dorchester Chamber of Commerce and was an active member of the Rotary Club. Previously, Gerry held the position of Chief Volunteer Officer (CVO) for the local YMCA.
Surviving is a brother Bernard Boyle of Glasgow, Scotland; sisters Frances “Fran” Strohmer and Mary Downey of Cambridge, MD, along with nieces, nephews and his entire Triathlon family around the world. Besides his parents, Gerry is predeceased by a brother Thomas Boyle, and a sister Vivien Gwynn.
The family will receive friends on Saturday, April 13th, starting at 9:30AM at St. Mary’s Refuge of Sinners, Cambridge, MD. Mass will begin in the church starting at 11AM. A reception will immediately follow at Minnette Dick Hall. Private interment will take place at Old Trinity Church Cemetery.
Pallbearers will be Bernard Boyle, Darren Boyle, Owen Strohmer, Thomas Boyle, Steve Strohmer, Drew Greenhawk and John Burtman.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations should be made to Dorchester County YMCA, 201 Talbot Avenue, Cambridge, MD, 21613 or St. Mary’s Refuge of Sinners, 2000 Hambrooks Blvd., Cambridge, MD 21613.