Crosby Fire Dept. leader Boyles passes

Crosby Volunteer Fire Dept. Chairman dies of stroke leaving 38 year legacy
Crosby Volunteer Fire Dept. Chairman dies of stroke leaving 38 year legacy.

Bob Boyles leaves a legacy of dedication

CROSBY – Few leaders of a community have held so many leadership positions as did Bob Boyles and few have left a legacy that is dedicated to saving lives and guarding the security of a community.

On March 19, 1981, a vehicle was pulling out from a side street as a Crosby Fire Truck approached, a collision was to be imminent, so Bob Boyles Jr. swerved to avoid injuring someone else, in the disaster that followed, the son of a community leader lost his life.

In that year a young Alan Kulak was mascot for the department, they told him he was too young to be a fireman at age 15, and he was training under Bob Junior to take on skills needed to save lives and fight fires. Now Fire Chief Kulak believes that due to the loss of his son in the line of duty, Bob Boyles dedicated himself to making Crosby have a great a fire department as it could possibly afford.

He was elected President of the Board of Directors in 1982 when Crosby Firefighters had to relay only upon donations from the general public and fundraising to keep fighting fires.

Boyles spearheaded many of the fundraising drives himself in those days, his dedication extended to asking for donations.

In 1988 a young Assistant Chief Kulak recalls going to Boyles to ask if it was possible to obtain a tanker for the department as this equipment would greatly expand the capacity of the firefighters to battle large flames. Boyles went to work finding a finance company that would extend credit to an organization that was running completely off of donations. Boyles came though and the department ordered its first tanker in 1989.

Boyles again got financing for badly needed equipment when the ladder truck was so dilapidated it was costing more to keep it running than a new truck would cost in 1991. The department had not hardly begun paying off the tanker when Boyles got financed a new ladder truck.

“Bob always went above and beyond to keep our equipment operational throughout the late 1980’s and 1990’s before we had a tax basis.” reports Chief Alan Kulak.

Boyles lead the charge to get a tax basis in 1998 and lead the effort to bring the ISO insurance improvements of 1999. That included the adding of new fire stations at Lake Shadows, FM 1942 and the one out near Arkema Chemical Company.

“He will be greatly missed and hard to replace,” said Alan Kulak.

According to Randy Foster, who calls Boyles a friend from thirty plus years and dedication to the Crosby Volunteer Fire Department and served with Boyles on numerous board positions, “Bob did a lot of ‘behind the scenes’ work that no one knew about. He put in hours of work securing the properties of Fire Station 1 and 2. Bob was a man of many talents and a community leader from painting designs on kids faces at festivals, rancher, Legion Commander, ESD Commissioner, father, granddad, husband, and man of God. I will miss our conversations over our favorite adult beverages, to him asking, ‘How is everyone at your house?’”

In 2016, Bob’s efforts in administration of the Fire Department, veterans affairs and administration of the Crosby American Legion Post 658 were recognized as he was presented Citizen of the Year by Eastside Veteran’s Celebration at the Crosby Fair & Rodeo.