Harold Lee Boyer, 74

May 19, 2010
  • Harold Lee Boyer, 74

MAY 2, 1936-MAY 13, 2010

SMITHSBURG, Md. - Harold Lee Boyer, 74, passed away Thursday, May 13, 2010, at his home in Smithsburg.

Born Saturday, May 2, 1936, in Maugansville, Md., he was the son of the late Anna Margaret (Smith) Boyer and Luther Pearre Boyer.

He graduated from Hagerstown High School in 1954, received his AA degree from Hagerstown Junior College in 1956 and his BA and MA degrees from George Peabody College for Teachers of Vanderbilt University.

He was a professor of geography and political science at Hagerstown Junior College for 32 years, retiring in 1994.

Devoted to his community, he spearheaded various environmental conservation efforts, beginning in the 1960s. He was elected to the Board of Commissioners of Washington County and served from 1970 to 1974. For many years, he was chairman of the Washington County Zoning Appeals Board, and for about 25 years was chairman of the Smithsburg Planning and Zoning Appeals Board. He was a founding member of the Maryland Citizen Planners Association.


An active firefighter in his early years, he was a life member of both the Maugansville and Smithsburg volunteer fire companies and had served as president of the Smithsburg company. He was a member of the Smithsburg Historical Society.

Having worked as a professional umpire, he was a past member of the Washington County Umpires Association.

A political activist, Boyer was a proud member of the Democratic Party and the American Civil Liberties Union. He was chosen for the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2002 by The Democratic Central Committee of Washington County.

As an ecologist, he was a "tree-hugging" member of the Sierra Club, the Nature Conservancy, and the National Parks and Wildlife Association.

In his retirement, he operated Professor Boyer's Book Bank, a used book store, in Smithsburg for several years.

He was a member of Covenant Presbyterian Church.

He is survived by his wife of 47 years, Billie Sue Boyer; his daughter, Brooke Suzanne Potts and husband Brian of Waynesboro, Pa.; his two sons, Truman Parks Boyer of Hagerstown, Md., and Jefferson Parks Boyer of Whitehaven, Md.; his three sisters, Lorraine Lewis of Maugansville, Thelma Oldham of Smithsburg and Carol Findley of Hagerstown; one grandson, Ethan Lee Potts; and two stepgrandsons, Connor R. and Benjamin A. Potts.

He was preceded in death by one sister, Betty Lewis, and two brothers, Charles "Pete" Boyer and Emory "Buck" Boyer.

Services will be Saturday, May 22, 2010, at 11 a.m. from Douglas A. Fiery Funeral Home, 1331 Eastern Blvd. North, Hagerstown, MD 21742, with the Dr. Renee Mackey officiating.

Family will receive friends at the funeral home from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Friday, May 21, and will also receive friends one hour prior to the services on Saturday.

Interment will be private and at a later date.

Memorial donations may be made to the Faculty Scholarship Fund, c/o Hagerstown Community College Foundation, 11400 Robinwood Drive, Hagerstown, MD 21742 or to Covenant Presbyterian Church, 11833 Greenhill Drive, Hagerstown, MD 21742.

Online condolences may be expressed at

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