At 100, retired Salt Lake lawyer Alma Boyce says 'You just hang around'

Published: Tuesday, Oct. 2 2012 6:00 p.m. MDT

Boyce also served in the military during World War II in the Counter Intelligence Corps. He served stateside investigating military plane crashes to determine whether the nation's enemies had any role in the accidents.

He does not recall any such findings, but the work could be heart-wrenching because many of the crashes involved young men and women.

Boyce said he credits his parents for his strong faith in God, a sense of gratitude and a pragmatic approach to problem solving.

His daughter Carolyn MacKenzie said he taught her and her siblings how to be frugal. When the children seemed indifferent to the cost of leaving on lights and appliances in the home, he challenged them to be part of the solution of reducing their electricity bill.

If the bill went down due to their collective effort to turn off the lights, he'd spend a like amount on ice cream sundaes.

"We all got our sundaes," MacKenzie said.

Barbara Bowen said her father's faith has been an inspiration to her.

"He's literally worn out the carpet kneeling next to his bed," she said.

Boyce lives alone in the Salt Lake home he and Jean built more than 60 years ago.

"When we came out here then, it was mostly hay fields and weeds," he said.

Boyce occasionally has help from family and neighbors but he has a "stubborn" streak and largely cares for himself, MacKenzie said.

Part of Boyce's charm is his sense of humor, another quality that has helped him through life's ups and downs, she said.

As for turning 100, Boyce said, "You just hang around. You sure don't plan on it."

At the conclusion of this interview, Boyce's daughters promised him a nice lunch as a reward.

"I ought to get a cookie right now for my cooperation," he cracked.

E-mail: marjorie@desnews.com

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