Cover photo for Cary Boyden's Obituary
Cary Boyden Profile Photo
1945 Cary 2020

Cary Boyden

February 20, 1945 — September 11, 2020

On Friday, September 11th, Cary Childs Boyden, loving husband, father, grandfather, and friend passed away peacefully in his home in Davis, California from pancreatic cancer at the age of 75.

Cary was born on February 20th, 1945 in Greenfield, Massachusetts to John and Evelyn Boyden. He grew up in the small town of Deerfield in western Massachusetts and attended Eaglebrook School and Deerfield Academy before graduating from Harvard with honors and obtaining his law degree from Georgetown University where he was an editor of the Georgetown Law Journal.

Cary came from a long line of scientists and educators, including Seth Boyden, inventor of patent leather, Uriah Boyden of the Boyden Observatory, and Frank L. and Helen Childs Boyden of Deerfield Academy.  However, Cary chose a different path and embarked on a 45-year legal career in Northern California where he specialized in commercial and equipment financing. During a good portion of this time, he was a partner of Boyden, Cooluris & Saxe as well as Pillsbury Madison & Sutro, now an international law firm.  Among his other accomplishments, he was for decades a nationally prominent expert on vehicle leasing law beginning with his instrumental role as an architect of the Consumer Leasing Act passed by Congress and the subsequent regulations issued by the Federal Reserve Board, all of which remain the law today.

A lifetime fisherman, Cary landed the catch of his life on April 20th, 1975 by marrying Suzanne Ball of Fort Worth, Texas. The two settled in Davis, California and raised three children, Benjamin, Kathleen, and Nathaniel.

Outside of his law practice and family life, Cary was passionate about fly fishing. He began fly fishing in the streams and rivers of New England before taking his ardor with him to the waters of the West Coast. A member of the Fly Fishers of Davis since the late 1970s, Cary built a rich network of friends and like-minded anglers intent on promoting the art of fly fishing, catching (and releasing) fish, and the conservation of our natural resources. Late in his angling career Cary specialized in stillwater fly fishing. He details the methods he used on the waters of Northern California in the technical fishing biography, “Random Thoughts of a Dark-Sider.”

Whether he was practicing law, helping to raise his children, or gone fishing, Cary was known as a simple, direct, honest, and special man. He was fond of extolling the purpose to “leave the world in a better place.” Through the hearts and minds of those he knew, Cary did just that.

Cary is preceded in death by his father and mother, his sister, Kathleen, and his oldest son, Benjamin. He is survived by his wife of 46 years, Suzanne, his daughter Kathleen Stacy (husband Christopher), his son Nathaniel (wife Anne), and his five beloved grandchildren: Blakely and Boyden Stacy, and Lilah, Violet, and Jonathan Boyden.

In lieu of flowers the family is asking that donations be made to the Nature Conservancy, Casting for Recovery, or a charity of your choice. A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date when conditions are more befitting of travel, handshakes, and hugs.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Cary Boyden, please visit our flower store.


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