Helen Warfield (Souder) Boyer, 95, lifelong resident of Damascus, Maryland, died peacefully of natural causes at her home on May 6, 2020
Born to Archie and Sallie Souder, Helen spent her childhood on the family farm. In high school she began to work for the only physicians in the Damascus area: her future husband, Dr. M. McKendree Boyer, and his father, Dr. George M. Boyer. Starting when she was a teenager, she accompanied them to homes to assist in the delivery of babies; more than one was christened “Helen” in her honor. Once she graduated as valedictorian of the Damascus High School class of 1942, she attended two years of college and a year of law school at the George Washington University before financial circumstances caused her to leave school to work full-time for the Boyers.
Despite having no formal training in the medical field, Helen became an integral part of the Boyer practice. She assisted with a wide range of clinical functions and eventually managed all business aspects of the practice. Helen and her husband also undertook construction of the Boyer Medical Building in 1964; she significantly expanded the building in 1992 and continued its management until 2012.
During her husband’s life and after his 1978 death, Helen devoted her time, energy, and financial resources to the medical community. She served as President of the Montgomery General (now Medstar Montgomery) Hospital Women’s Board and was instrumental in the establishment of the hospital’s thrift shop and gift shop. The hospital’s Boyer Community Learning Center, Medical Staff Lounge, and recently renovated Women’s Board Lobby attest to the value she placed on the medical community. She also led state and local medical auxiliary chapters, and she advocated for medical professionals through legislative efforts at both the state and federal levels when she served as the first female and first nonphysician chairperson of the Maryland Medical Political Action Committee.
Helen was active elsewhere as well. She was the first female Director of the Bank of Damascus, the first female member of the Damascus Lions Club, a lifelong member and supporter of the Damascus United Methodist Church, and a member of local travel and investment clubs. She loved to dance and enthusiastically supported local sports teams. Helen was always happier putting others before herself, especially her family, and she will be remembered for her warmth, generosity, wisdom, strength, and quick wit. She was an inspiring woman whose bright smile and practical outlook will be deeply missed.
Helen is survived by her three children, Sally Boyer Smith (Randy), Dr. George M. Boyer, (Alicia), and McKendree W. Boyer (Mary); her three grandchildren, Kristen Skogsberg, John Skogsberg (Beka), and Aden Boyer; great-granddaughter Lily Skogsberg; sister Jane Snapp; and numerous nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by her husband, parents, and sisters Ruth Gue, Grace King, and Dorothy Burdette.
Due to current limitations on public gatherings, a memorial celebrating Helen’s life will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to: Damascus United Methodist Church, Capital Campaign Fund, 9700 New Church St., Damascus, MD 20872.
Online condolences may be shared with her family at www.molesworthwilliams.com
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