Charles Allan “Chuck“ Boice, long-time editor of OSU’s alumni publication, the Oregon Stater, passed away Sunday morning, March 14, from complications associated with an age-related eating disorder. He was 89.
Boice was hired to direct the Stater on July 31, 1969. He retired in June 1986, the second longest tenure of any editor in the 95-year history of OSU’s flagship alumni publication. He held two degrees from the University of Oregon, an extraordinary credential given the nature of his OSU responsibilities, and was the first editor to view his position as an end in itself and not a stepping stone to a better job.
During the peak years of his OSU career, Boice was the “face” of both the school and its alumni association for readers around the world. He was most proud of the publication’s growth under his direction, from an initial printing of 17,000 his first year, to 100,000 at the time of his departure. During this period, the Stater was a tabloid and he incorporated new computerized typesetting and offset printing into its production.
Current Stater editor Kevin Miller, editor of the Barometer in 1977-78, remembers Chuck Boice well. Their offices were close together in the Memorial Union. When he saw the older man making his rounds, he would often think of him as the embodiment of what it meant to be an Oregon Stater.
“It was hard to be at OSU at that time without knowing his name,” Miller said. “He was everywhere, a very prolific writer. I sometimes wondered if he ever slept.”
After his retirement, he was named editor emeritus and asked to stay on as sports editor, a job he performed with distinction for 12 years. He also did part-time work for the Associated Press.
Above all, Boice adored OSU. He was the most knowledgeable authority on the history of Beaver sports in the Pacific Northwest. He was so staunchly Orange and Black in his reporting, he could turn a 48-0 pasting into a moral victory.
He was born July 27, 1920, in Glendale, Ore. After graduating from high school in 1938, he attended the College of Wooster in Ohio before returning home to enroll at the UO.
During World War II, he was an naval gunnery officer aboard USS Oyster Bay, a torpedo boat tender in the South Pacific. He participated in the New Guinea Campaign and in the liberation of the Philippines.
In 1949 he married Audrey Larson of Coos Bay. They were the parents of two sons, Charles A. and Craig Boice.
Before working at The Oregon Stater, he was Director of Public Information at the University of Portland, was a sports columnist for the Corvallis Gazette-Times, and served as an information specialist with OSU’s Division of Continuing Education. He also worked part-time for OSU covering football and basketball games for SID John Eggers.
Audrey Boice passed away on Nov. 17, 1994. Chuck married Ina Angeline Van de Pol of Corvallis on March 4, 1998. They lived happily together in Philomath and were often seen enjoying Beaver home football and basketball games, as well as alumni association gatherings at the CH2M HILL Alumni Center.
He was proceeded in death by son Charles A. Boice of Los Angeles, and sisters Doreen Resoner of Salem and Louise Luehrs of Hays, Kan. He is survived by wife Ina Boice of Philomath, son Craig Boice of New York City; grandchildren Erik Boice of Norman, Okla., and Jeffery Sittner of Salt Lake City, Utah, and four great grandchildren. In lieu of flowers, donations in Chuck’s name can be made to the Beaver Athletic Scholarship Fund (BASF) or Benton County Hospice.
~ George P. Edmonston Jr.