In Memoriam: George B. Boyle

Long-time bond attorney George B. Boyle died Aug. 14 in Pittsboro, N.C. He was 81.

After graduating from Columbia Law School in 1954, Mr. Boyle began a lifelong career in public finance at the New York boutique firm Mitchell, Petty & Shetterly, which later merged with Brown & Wood.

As a senior partner at Brown & Wood, he worked in many states while heading up the firm's practice in North Carolina.

In the 1950s and 1960s, he worked closely with North Carolina Treasurer Edwin Gill and his assistant, Harlan Boyles, who later became the treasurer for more than two decades.

Mr. Boyle helped draft constitutional amendments and major statutes on North Carolina public finance matters for more than 35 years.

In 1988, he left New York and became a partner at Poyner & Spruill in Raleigh, where he founded the firm's public finance practice and continued his work with state officials.

"I was fortunate to have worked with him," said Tom Lee, head of the public finance group at Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice PLLC, who worked with Mr. Boyle at Brown & Wood and Poyner & Spruill. "I think he contributed greatly to the mindset that you need to handle your public financings responsibly."

Mr. Boyle "was particularly proud of his role in the creation of the North Carolina Housing Finance Agency," Lee said.

Mr. Boyle was the NCHFA's first bond counsel in 1974, and maintained the position for about 25 years.

"George was a smart attorney with a real knowledge of tax-exempt bond laws," the NCHFA's executive director, Robert Kucab, wrote in a tribute. "Thousands of families live in better and more affordable homes because of George's career. He made a difference."

Along with his work as a bond attorney, Mr. Boyle often was a mentor to younger professionals.

He also encouraged colleagues to consider every event that could happen when working on a bond transaction, according to Lee.

"He would try to have us imagine what would happen if a bank goes under, or what if we can't get a new letter of credit," Lee said.

"He understood there's a risk involved to this and he wanted to make sure everyone working on the transaction understood that. He regarded himself as a counselor to the client and he helped clients understand the transactions and the risks."

Mr. Boyle is survived by his wife of 57 years, Virginia, and their five children and five grandchildren.

Visitation and services were held this past weekend.

Condolences can be registered at www.apexfuneral.net.

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