Still Volunteering 10 Years Later



Marvin and Clarys Boyle started their volunteer work at the Payson Care Center more than 10 years ago by agreeing to help a friend from their church.

"Sue Owen did a Tuesday Bible study here and the lady that had helped her with music had died," Marvin said. "She asked me to help out and I agreed. Clarys said, if I was going back, she was coming with me."


Clarys and Marvin Boyle

"And I did," Clarys said.

That was around Christmas in 1996. Not long after, Owen decided there were other things she wanted to do, so she turned over the Bible study to the Boyles.

A bit later, the people who were providing the Sunday services for residents at Payson Care Center left.

"My sister and brother-in-law were living here at the time and were retired missionaries, so we suggested they take over the Sunday program," Marvin said. That lasted for a while, but when Rev. Robert and Normalee Allen decided to move to be closer to their children, Marvin and Clarys took on the Sunday service.

They continue to provide both programs today.

"When we first started here, they were providing recorded music for the residents," Marvin said. "I asked if they'd like some real music instead."

Now, in addition to the Sunday and Tuesday programs, the Boyles and other volunteers provide live, old-time music for the residents on Tuesday evenings.

While they started their volunteer work at Payson Care Center to help a friend, the Boyles have stayed with it for more than 10 years for their own reasons.

"In my younger years -- while our boys were growing up -- I worked with the boys' organizations," Marvin said. "Working with the residents here is a lot like working with young people again.

"We have met the most interesting people here and become so close to some that they have become like family," he added.

"Every time we go home we smile about something someone here has said to us," Clarys said.

Marvin related one of the most interesting experiences they have had at the center.

"About three weeks ago, we were here for a music program," he said. "I bring the instruments in on a carpet-covered cart. It had a lose thread. An elderly Native American woman in a wheelchair was next to the cart and took hold of the thread and started pulling on it. She had unraveled about 15 feet of it and was trying to weave with it."

The Boyles have a personal connection to Payson Care Center. Marvin's mother, Emma Boyle, was a resident there until she died in 2001, at the age of 101.

The couple strongly encourages others to volunteer at Payson Care Center.

"It's very rewarding," said Clarys.


Hometown: Tucson

Age: Marvin, 76, Clarys, 73

Occupation: Retired

When did you move to Payson and what brought you here? 1995. They hunted and fished on the Rim with their sons and always thought Payson would be a good place to retire.

What's the biggest risk you've taken recently? Clarys said she is not a risk taker. Marvin said his biggest risk was making an acoustic guitar.

What's the best piece of advice you've ever been given? Clarys: "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you"; Marvin: "Her father told me two things when we were first married. One was ‘never back up when you can go forward' and the other was ‘the first 50 years of marriage are the hardest' -- we made it past that." The couple has been married since 1953.

Things you'd like people to know about you: Marvin: I'm my own guy. I'm honest. I can say I have thoroughly enjoyed my life. Clarys: I like to make things -- I crochet. I love to travel. I have been to every state, except the two closest to where I grew up. I was born in Nebraska, but I have never been to North Dakota or South Dakota.

When you were a kid what did you want to be when you grew up? Clarys: A teacher, 42 people on my father's side of the family were teachers, both my sisters and both my brothers are teachers. Marvin: A professional Country Western musician, in the tradition of Bob Wills. In addition to making and playing guitars, Marvin also plays the mandolin and the violin.


Book: Marvin -- the Bible; Clarys -- anything by Janette Oke

Song: Marvin -- "How Great Thou Art"; Clarys -- "Isle of Capri"

Sport to watch: Marvin - basketball, especially college basketball; Clarys - baseball, "I played softball when I was a girl."

Vacation spot: Maui

Recreational activity: Fishing

Movie: "Facing the Giant"

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