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Boise State community remembers Christine Boyles

Updated June 3, 2021:
The Department of Public Safety will conduct a memorial dedication for Boyles at the campus amphitheater on Cesar Chavez and Theater Lanes on Friday, June 11 at 10 a.m. Refreshments will be provided and free parking is available in the Library and Liberal Arts parking lots.

Active Transportation Manager in the Department of Public Safety, Christine Boyles, passed away May 18, 2021.

Christine Boyles studio photo
Christine Boyles, Department of Public Safety, Priscilla Grover photo

Boyles joined Boise State in 2015 and coworkers will remember how deeply she cared about the people she worked with, especially the shuttle drivers she managed.

“We will fondly remember Christine’s passion for life, strong work ethic, can-do attitude, caring for her staff and co-workers, and for her never ending support of the Boise State community,” said Jon Uda, interim associate vice president of the Department of Public Safety.

Boyles was an advocate for incorporating active transportation into the community. This included sustainable transportation solutions and connecting safe routes throughout the communities surrounding campus for shuttles, buses, bikes, carpooling, walking, skateboarding and other non-motorized transportation options.

The Department of Public Safety will host a tribute for Boyles’ family soon. More details are forthcoming. If members of the campus community would like to submit remembrances, they can email to have their memories shared with the family.

Some of the tributes from Boyles’ coworkers already received are shared below.

A woman poses for a photo with Santa Claus

Randi McDermott, Vice President for Campus Operations:
I was honored to serve as the VP over Public Safety for three years. When I was first appointed, Christine reached out to me right away and invited me to take a golf cart tour of her operations. She was the first and only employee who made this overture and I happily accepted. Spending time with her was the perfect introduction and also served as a warm welcome. I’d never met someone with such passion about her role and so eager to make a difference. Her confidence and enthusiasm were contagious and transferred not only to her team and those around her, but to me. She may not have realized the boost she gave to me as I began a new role. I will be forever grateful for her kindness and for sharing her confidence with me. She was a one-of-a-kind individual who is sorely missed! I know for sure that I am much better for having known her.

Kat Roemer, Department of Public Safety administrative assistant:
Christine outmatched us all with her passion. Her care and devotion to this team will continue to be felt for years to come. Her giving soul meant she always had something to share, from snacks at her desk, to wonderful stories about her family, her cherished pets, and the young men and women she spent her time mentoring. There is one less rainbow in the sky and the loss of her colors leaves the world less bright.

Mishka Chorny, transportation and enforcement manager:
A few things to know about my time with Christine.

First and foremost, I could not argue with her. I think most people found it hard to argue with her. She was fantastic at making inferential leaps and questioning logic. Her passion pulled her forward in everything she argued for. She was driven by a truly developed sense of right and wrong and I found that to be one her most endearing qualities.

When we all worked together at “The Bunker” (the Department of Public Safely transportation office), Stephen Ritter and I sat next to Boyles in a large office space. Her desk was set up in the corner with various knicknacks, toys, and foodstuffs. Her little section was also lit up with shiny items, fun colored wigs and fun pictures of her hamsters. She made sure that work was “fun”.

Christine and I were taking pictures on Friday May 7th, 2021 Graduation Day. This is my favorite. She was a wonderful person and I enjoyed working for her. She was tough, but fair. All of the shuttle drivers were proud to work for her. We worked hard and had fun – We miss you Christine!! Darlene Wallis, shuttle operator.

She provided us with Nerf guns which we used unexpectedly and frequently. We brought them out to lighten a day, finish an argument or to interrupt a lunch. The custodial staff lectured me one time for leaving Nerf rounds astray in our section and Boyles walked by mischievously giggling to herself.

There was also a time when I was speaking to her about a bike policy that she calmly pulled out a Nerf gun and shot me. She just smiled, shrugged, and walked away as if the shot to the chest won the argument. Very much an unexpected resolution.

In a lot of ways she was innocent. Her presence had a silliness to it that made me smile. You wouldn’t know she was fun loving and child like when she got on the radio to talk with her shuttle drivers though. She spoke matter of factly and commandingly with them; some, I think, were even afraid of her. I noticed that she had a way with her employees in that they knew the time to have fun, and the time to get their work accomplished. She definitely could walk a fine line between those two directives.

She was also caring; she fed everyone well with crackers, candies, and chocolates. Ritter and I were always given special treats though, like a bag of crackers baked in oil and chile flakes, and bags of caramel or chocolate popcorn were often haphazardly thrown on my desk with a smiley face on the bag. Chocolate covered potato chips were one of my favorite treats from her. Sometimes she had cheesecake too. She would always tell us “don’t share this with anyone else, this is for my two boys.”

Gabe Finklestein, multi-modal program and education manager:
Christine believed our potential to succeed was always higher than we knew. She broke down barriers, was a liaison, and dreamed lofty visions. Through her passionate style of driving forward we made great strides as a team and had fun in the process.
We are very sad to lose Christine and will miss her energy and optimism. We will strive for her vision by making Boise State’s alternative and active transportation one of the leading programs in the country.

Courtney Ronan, Department of Public Safety finance manager:
Christine was passionate about active transportation and employee morale. She was always going out and buying treats for her team or little holiday gifts so they knew how appreciated they are.

I remember the first time she took me on a tour of the shuttles and she was dropping off little Christmas bags to the drivers. They brought a smile to each driver she gave them to. Christine was all about family whether it be her work family or home family. She recently sent me pictures of the greenhouse her mom and her finished with its powder coated blue paint. Christine lovingly named her mom and her “old lady gardeners, like Steel Magnolias”. Her love for those around her was amazing. The legacy she left behind is one of passion, caring, and kindness.

Robert Littrell, assistant director of emergency management:
I remember Christine being passionate about her shuttles, employees and all things Boise State. Once when I was coordinating a visit to the campus from the Idaho Office of Emergency Management Public Information Emergency Response Team, I mentioned how hard it would be to get the 12 plus members of the team from the Emergency Operations Center down to the Stueckle Sky Center Command Post for a tour. Christine told me all of the shuttle drivers were busy, but I could use one of the shuttles for the tour. After passing her very high standard of driving requirements for driving the shuttle, I used one of the smaller shuttles and the campus tour went very well with all of the guests enjoying the campus tour in the shuttle. I felt very honored to have met Christine’s high standard and to have been a part of the transportation team for a day.

Just about everyone will acknowledge, Christine was a pain in the butt. There were times we had emergency responses on campus where Christine would come over the radios and announce: “Can someone move that fire truck; it’s blocking my shuttles.” In the middle of an emergency! But that “pain” said everything about Christine; she had a steely, single focus on her riders, drivers, and shuttles. She was the best shuttle manager we could have ever been blessed with and is sorely missed.

Jacy Nary, former organization and relationship manger for the Department of Public Safety:
Christine was a builder. She was fierce about her program and cared deeply about her team. If you were a member of Christine’s team once, you were always on her team. Christine did not just care about who people were in their role on campus, she cared about who they were as people, especially about their kids and their pets. She championed our kids’ achievements and was quick to share a happy story about one of her pet friends. Just a week before her passing she shared some updated photos with me of Jocelyn’s kiddos. Jocelyn was a shuttle operator who left in 2019 but Christine continued to be engaged with Jocelyn’s success and shared her achievements with me years after she left Boise State. Christine was active on campus and in Boise working to create opportunities for Boise’s youth. She remembered every student she interacted with and had such a way of making people feel like they were valued.

Christine Boyles and Jacy Nary
I loved Christine’s Lego creations. I loved that she had a Lego figurine for each member of the DPS team and other campus partners. She was so proud of the work that we were doing and loved sharing how each of us had a role in her Lego community. I always felt really honored that she chose Wonder Woman as my Lego. Photo: Jacy Nary

I actually knew Christine from her time at Ada County Highway District. I had the pleasure of working with her while I was the City Clerk for Meridian. Even in that role, Christine was passionate about the community and about active transportation. She believed in connectivity and the impact that active transportation had on families in our area. I was pleasantly surprised when I accepted my position at Boise State and found Christine already here to welcome me.

She thought really highly of the DPS Admin team and she treated us with kindness. Christine and I continued to stay in touch after I left Boise State and made sure to cheer me on and check-in on Charlett, my daughter. Christine was kind. She had a good heart and she genuinely cared. I will miss Christine’s stories. I will miss her passion for youth and our community. I will miss her photos of Gabby the hamster. I will miss her. She made an impact forever on me and on Boise State.

Katelyn Taylor, Associate Director, Marketing and Communication Extended Studies:
I was very sad to read about Christine’s passing and wanted to share my memory of her and thank you for creating this space for people like me to remember what a kind, fun person Christine was.

Christine and I weren’t close; we were in the same cohort for Shared Leadership. We were friendly, and I admired her ability to unabashedly share what was on her mind, crack a joke, and make others feel welcome.

Even though we weren’t close, she remembered me and was very kind to me. A few years ago, I had recently been promotedand felt that I needed to start dressing for my new role, which meant wearing heels–this was a bad choice. I had a meeting across campus and was painfully making my way when Christine drove by me in a golf cart and asked if I could use a ride. She saved my day with that small gesture and laughed along with me as I cursed the decision to wear heels.

It was a little encounter, but it meant a lot to me and speaks to the kind of colleague Christine was: kind, fun, and always willing to help others.

I hope all whose lives were impacted more so by Christine are doing well and remembering the happy memories. My heart goes out to you.

Emily Burns, Executive Assistant to Vice President University Affairs:
Christine was such a welcoming, kind person to me when I moved to assisting with the Department of Public Safety. I will so miss her smile, brain and Lego.

Rita Huffstetler, Library Assistant:
I met Christine when we were in the Shared Leadership. She was passionate about spreading the word to all employees about transportation on the shuttles, and how her unit was working to be environmentally friendly. She was very kind to me, and very supportive. I will miss her dearly. You have my deepest sympathy.

Diana Buie, Associate IT Information Security Analyst:
My deepest condolences. I was saddened to learn of Christine’s passing. Christine was in my Shared Leadership cohort. She had an infectious laugh and was always up for good conversations. In my experiences with Christine she was always a team player and shared her thoughts on how to make the next year’s Shared Leadership participants feel welcomed and grow new connections within Boise State.

She was very passionate about her shuttle routes. I remember one summer she was so excited to have gotten the opportunity to keep some shuttle routes running even though budgets were tight. She was proud of what she was doing and how she was benefiting our campus community. She will be missed.

Beau Avery, Shuttle operator:
As a shuttle driver, Christine had, and continues to have, a profound impact on the way that I serve Boise State, and the Boise community. Her passion for her job, and the compassion she displayed every day for us as drivers will be remembered and honored for years to come.

I recall a time when I was very new to the job and I was driving for a football event. At such events it is common for the staff to be provided a meal during our breaks, but being new I was unaware of that. So, during the break I drove to the parking lot of the old Maverick on Boise Ave next to Big Judd’s to get a burger and fries. Unbeknownst to me, because I had turned off my radio (another big “no no” during events) I was unaware that she was looking for me. When I returned a short time later, she called me on the phone to inform me that someone had seen my shuttle parked next to Big Judd’s. I thought for sure that I was in big trouble. Yet rather than reprimand me, Christine simply told me that it was a bad thing to do, and to make sure I stayed on campus at all times during events. From that time on, in her good nature, Christine would tease me about “Big Judd’s.” I even took on the radio call sign “Big Judd” for a while.

Christine had a wonderful endearing quality about her that made me want to do better as a driver, to be better as a person, and to serve people out of compassion. She was always there for us, even when I knew sometimes she perhaps didn’t want to be, and later when she couldn’t be. She cared deeply for all of us drivers, and always pushed to make us better.

I am forever grateful to Christine for helping to make me a better person, and I am all the better for having known her.

Kim Gibbons, Parking maintenance specialist:
Christine was always ready to help her coworkers, patrons and students at Boise State University. She was always asking if I needed a ride or help with the projects we worked on here on campus.

She will be missed.

Alyn Stanton, Former assistant transportation manager:
Christine wasn’t necessarily an easy person to have as a supervisor, but then many great supervisors aren’t necessarily easy to work for. She expected a great deal from her direct reports, but never more than they were able to achieve. She rewarded and publicly recognized those of her staff who went above and beyond what was expected of them. Christine’s dedication to her job, to Boise State University, it’s faculty, students and staff, and especially to her staff was unparalleled, enthusiastic and heartfelt.