“God hates a coward” was a phrase Dee Boyce proclaimed throughout his lifetime and he certainly lived up to those words. Dee 77 of Lewistown died Monday morning, October 26, 2020 at his home in Lewistown of natural causes with his loving wife Martha and ranch manager Allen Beard by his side.
Dee was born April 8, 1943 in Sheridan, WY to Claire and Edna (Knobloch) Boyce. He spent his early childhood learning how to be a cowboy and rancher across many ranches near Birney, MT. He graduated from Custer County High School in Miles City, MT in 1960. After spending almost, a year at Eastern Montana college in Billings, calving season was calling at the family ranch and Dee began building a legacy as one of the great ranchers in Montana.
In 1966 he married Sherrill Willey and they were blessed with three children while spending 18 years of marriage ranching in eastern Montana and opening Boyce’s Tack & Western store in Bozeman, MT in 1978. After divorcing, Dee moved to the Boyce Ranch in Lewistown in 1986. It is here where he built a respected reputation as a cattle rancher and a generous neighbor. In 2001 he married Martha Chapel, spending the next 20 years together. Dee valued being an active member of the community, graciously giving his time in all of the organizations with which he was affiliated. During the last few years Dee overcame many challenging illnesses, defying the odds and finishing the work God had in store for him.
Less than a month ago, Dee was able to saddle hie mare Megan and have one last ride, the way a cowboy defines his life.
He is survived by his wife Martha of Lewistown; children Bill and wife Kim of Lewistown, MT, Bob and husband Victor of Seattle, WA and Ann and husband Ken Nicholson of Bothell, WA; step-daughters Brenda Koch of Billings, MT and Brigette and husband Jeff Brantmeier of Belgrade, MT; two sisters Sharon Boyce of Missoula, MT and Lora Lonsberry of Kalispell, MT; 7 grandchildren who brought him great joy, Cody, Brady and Jett Boyce, Katie and Tavis Nicholson, Sophee and Laurel Brantmeier; several nieces, nephews and cousins.
He was preceded in death by his parents.
Services for Dee Boyce will be held at the ranch during the early summer of 2021. At his cremation has taken place with the Cloyd Funeral Home assisting the family.
Friends are asked to make memorials to the Central Montana Medical Center Foundation ER Fund, Benefis Foundation Sletten Cancer Institute, Billings Clinic Foundation Cardiology or to the charity of their choice and they may be left with the Cloyd Funeral Home. Condolences for the family may be posted online at www.cloydfuneralhome.com.