James Philip Boyle (aka “Jim” or “Higbee” as his brother John and childhood friends called him) lived a beautiful and dignified life for sixty-six years and eight days. My dad meant many different things to many different people throughout his truly amazing life. He was a true intellectual. An athlete. A mentor. A life long friend and a true champion for those he cared about. A photographer. A writer. The purest of newsman as many in the business have stated. But most importantly, my dad was the love of my mother’s life and she was the love of his life. This love my mom, Chula, and my dad shared, and I know continue to share, enabled them both to lead their very best lives, even after my dad’s diagnosis with glioblastoma. And this point leads me to the most important aspect of my dad’s life. His family.
My dad was lucky. He had a passion for television news and he spent every single working day doing what he loved most. My dad was as competitive as they come. Even after almost thirty hugely successful years at KSAT 12 in San Antonio, my dad’s fire and passion to present the best and most unbiased news to the community never ceased. And although the news was his professional passion, his family was his true passion. My dad was the most loving person you would ever encounter in your life. His love was genuine and true, and his love also meant that he told you like it was. My sister Brett and I were the first to know how happy or excited he was with our successes in life and we were also the first to know how angry or disappointed he was when we did not quite live up to his expectations. And as many people who knew my dad can attest, my dad expected nothing but the very best. The best effort, the best foot forward, the best news story, the best of everything. This expectation of his made our lives easy and inspired us to be better people because there was never any gray area to contend with. It made us think a little bit harder about something before plunging in. I am certain that the power of my dad’s love, his generosity, and his wisdom in our lives made us the strong and capable women that we are today.
My dad always told my sister and her husband, Chip, and me and my husband, Mike, that we should have a lot of kids because we would be wonderful parents and our children would make the world a better place. And thankfully we did have children, three girls and one boy all together. My dad was not only present when each of his grandchildren came into this world, but he was able to hear each of them call him “Pops” and to know and feel how much they all love him. His grandchildren were the loves of his life and through all of us they will continue to know and love their “Pops.” His strength and his love will endure in each of their lives because we will make it so. We made that promise to my dad.
And one last note about this truly remarkable man, my dad, Jim Boyle. JPB. With all of his smartness and elegance, he was also quite hilarious. Sometimes even a prankster. My dad would have the funniest one-liners you ever heard. His stories would have you in stitches and his laughter could be heard from the other end of the house. Seeing his smile and hearing his laugh would make your day better. Along with joking and laughing, my dad loved sports, especially football, all types of festivals, sitting in his backyard after mowing the lawn and running, Seinfeld, trips to Akumal, trips to anywhere for that matter, learning about everything, tubing down the river, breakfast tacos and Mexican food, the occasional cigar, driving through the hill country with his convertible top down, a cold beer, piping up in Trivia with the answers when he was not playing, new technology, sitting in front of chimeneas when it was freezing outside, Texas barbeque, visiting ruins in Mexico, using his camera, strolling on the San Antonio riverwalk to admire the Christmas lights, running during the hottest time of the day, history and books of all sorts, giving the best bear hugs, taking his grandchildren to the park, any museum and to the zoo, Smokey Robinson, the weather, especially newsworthy weather, Thanksgiving, candy cane cookies, and living the good life. My dad was an expert at life. An expert at living in the moment, never looking too far back or forward, and loving his family with all of his heart because he knew that family is all you really have in the end.