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Revised on
October 7, 2017

The Family of
Neil A. Boyer

of Easton, Pennsylvania,
and Washington, D. C.

Children of Neil:
        Sabrina Nicole Boyer Foster
                 Elijah Nicholas (Eli) Foster
                 Tobias Julian (Toby) Foster
        Gary Steven Boyer
                Iris Monroe Boyer
                Maren Wade Boyer
                    Gerald Family

Neil Boyer's Family Genealogical Chart
Neil's Parents, Art and Anna Boyer
Neil's Sister, Ann Lee Boyer Parks
The Boyers of Easton
Photo Gallery of the Boyers of Easton
Neil Boyer's Home Page

      Neil Arthur Boyer, the first child of Art and Anna Boyer, was born on April 22, 1938, in Easton Hospital, Easton, Pennsylvania.  He grew up in Phillipsburg, New Jersey.  When he began first grade, his parents lived there at 134 Summit Avenue.  Neil attended Freeman School, on Fillmore Street in Phillipsburg.  After graduation from the eighth grade, in the summer of 1951, he moved with his family across the Delaware River to Easton, Pennsylvania, and lived at 430 South 21st Street.  After studying in New York City, he moved to the area of Washington, D.C., in 1964.  In mid-2007, he was living in Silver Spring, Maryland, just outside of Washington.

      Neil attended Wilson Borough High School in Easton, the same school attended by his father, Art.  Neil played baritone horn in the marching band and sang in the school choir. 
After high school graduation in 1955, Neil attended Moravian College, in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, living at home and either hitchhiking or driving the eight miles to Moravian each day.  He was co-editor of The Comenian, the Moravian weekly student newspaper, and played trombone in the marching band.  He graduated in 1959 with a B.S. degree in Economics and Business Administration.   During his senior year and in subsequent summers, he also worked on the editorial staffs of the Bethlehem Globe-Times and the Easton Express.

Christmas Card Model, 1944 Neil and Cousin Nancy Boyer, Wilson Grads, 1955 Moravian College Grad, 1959 Neil (right) at Bethlehem Globe-Times, 1959
Christmas Card model, 1944 Neil and cousin Nancy Boyer,
Wilson High School grads, 1955
Moravian College
Grad, 1959
Neil, right, in the editorial room
of the Bethlehem Globe-Times, 1959

      See other photos of Neil in the section on his parents, Art and Anna Boyer, here and here, and in the section on his sister, Ann Lee Boyer Parks.

      Following Moravian, Neil was admitted to New York University School of Law and lived in the law school dormitory in Washington Square in Greenwich Village.  He graduated from NYU with an LL.B. degree in 1962.  He was later admitted to the bar of New York State.  He was also admitted to the bar of the U.S. Supreme Court in June 1970 with other alumni of NYU School of Law.

      President John F. Kennedy had created the Peace Corps soon after he took office in 1961, while Neil was in law school.  Neil took the admission test for the Peace Corps during his last year at NYU, and in June 1962 he was accepted and went into Peace Corps training at Georgetown University in Washington.  The trip from New York to Washington was his first ride in an airplane.  In early September 1962, Neil was among some 300 Peace Corps Volunteers who flew off to Ethiopia, in East Africa.  Neil was stationed in the capital, Addis Ababa, and taught English, first at the Commercial School and later at the new business college at Haile Selassie I University.  He also worked for the Institute of Public Administration, drafting legislation and analyzing legal problems.

Neil, left, and Peace Corps friends in Ethiopia, 1963 Neil on donkey in Ethiopia, 1963 Neil in Cairo, Egypt, 1963
Neil, left, with Peace Corps
colleagues in Ethiopia, 1963
Neil getting a ride
in Ethiopia, 1963
At the pyramids outside Cairo, Egypt, 1963
        On his return from Ethiopia in 1964, Neil went to work for the Peace Corps in Washington, in a division that helped other countries create their own programs similar to the Peace Corps.  In 1967, he moved to the Department of State where he became the first director of “Volunteers to America,” a new "reverse peace corps" program that brought teachers and social workers from other countries to the United States.  In 1969, in Washington, he married Alba Giovacchini of Argentina, one of the volunteers in the program.  They were married in the garden of the Argentine Embassy with many Boyer family members in attendance, and they had two children, Sabrina Nicole Boyer and Gary Steven Boyer.

      Alba Giovacchini Boyer.  Alba Julia Giovacchini, first wife of Neil Boyer, had been born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on October 18, 1944, and educated in that city.  Her father, Julio Giovacchini, had been born February 27, 1909, in Tuscany, Italy, and moved to Argentina as a young man.  He was a bus and taxi driver.  His brother Dante and his descendants were visited by Alba, Neil and daughter Sabrina in 1980.  Alba’s mother, Iris Ferrari Giovacchini, was born in Argentina in 1910.  She died SeptemberAlba and Neil Boyer, 1969 15, 1989, at the age of 79 of cardiac arrest after suffering heart problems for many years.  Julio died of a stroke in Buenos Aires on February 4, 1997, at the age of 87. 

      Alba had an older sister, Teresa Iris Giovacchini Santamaria, who was a professor of Spanish literature in Argentina.  She had been born on March 28, 1940. She traveled to Washington to attend the graduation ceremonies of Alba and Neil’s children, Sabrina and Gary, as well as for their weddings in 2004 and 2010. Teresa died at her home in Buenos Aires on September 29, 2014, at the age of 74. See photo in the section on Gary, below.

      Alba received a degree in early childhood education in 1965, from the Instituto Haritaoes in Buenos Aires.  Having heard about the creation of the "Volunteers to America" program in the United States, she volunteered and was one of 10 Argentine young women to come to the United States in the summer of 1967.  She worked as a "Headstart" teacher, first in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and then in centralTilden Street House, Washington, in 1982 Washington, D. C.  She and Neil, who was director of the program, were married in 1969, and she was naturalized as a U.S. citizen, in Washington on September 11, 1973.  

      Alba worked in the early 1970s with an American Express language school and then moved to the International Center for Language Services (ICLS) in Washington.  She became the business manager for ICLS, keeping track of students, teachers, contracts, payroll and other related activities.  She was still working for ICLS in 2009.

      In 1972, Neil and Alba bought a house on Tilden Street, N.W., in Washington, and were living there when their two children were born, Sabrina in 1979 and Gary in 1983.  Neil and Alba separated in 1985 and divorced in August 1991.  Alba was living at that address in 2014.

      Work for the Department of State.  In 1970, the Congress cut off funding for the Volunteers to America program, and Neil continued to work in the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the Department of State, working on policy analyses relating to the operation of the Fulbright scholarship program and other international exchange programs.  In 1976, he took a one-year position as head of the State Department's Open Forum, an organization designed to foster openness and creativity within the State Department.

      In the fall of 1977, Neil moved to the Bureau of International Organization Affairs, which handles U.S. policy toward the United Nations and its system of agencies.  Within that bureau, in 1979, he took on responsibility for U.S. relations with the World Health Organization (WHO), based in Geneva, Switzerland, and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), in Washington.  Neil traveled to Geneva two or three times a year to represent the Department of State at meetings of WHO, mostly in relation to political, administrative and financial issues.  

At PAHO with Surgeon General Koop, 1985 With WHO Director General Nakajima, 1988 At meeting of the Pan American Health Organization, 1997 Neil in 2002
At PAHO, 1985, with Surgeon General Koop With WHO Director
General Nakajima,
Geneva, Switzerland, 1988
Speaking to a meeting
of the Pan American
Health Organization, 1997
Neil in 2002

Neil in Beijing, 1987 In Neil's Office at the Department of State, 1990
With Secretary of State Colin Powell, 2003
In Beijing, at meeting of the World Health Organization, 1987 Neil's office in the Department of State, 1990
With Secretary of State Colin Powell,
on Neil's retirement from
Department of State, 2003

      In 1999, Neil took on responsibility for Department of State relations with the Universal Postal Union (UPU), which coordinates relations between the postal services of the world and ensures delivery of mail across national borders and arranges postal payments among postal services.  In this capacity, Neil traveled to meetings at UPU headquarters in Bern, Switzerland, as well as to UPU and other postal meetings in China, Uruguay, Guyana, Panama and other sites.  Upon reaching the mandatory retirement age of 65, in April 2003, Neil retired from the Department of State.  In 2007, he was spending time on digital photography, genealogy (including this family compilation), and learning how to use HTML to create a family internet site, as well as taking classes at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington.  

      Johanna Misey Boyer.  Johanna Louise Misey and Neil were married on April 4, 1992, in a small ceremony at the Henley Park Hotel in Washington.  She was the daughter of Rachel Louise Long, born February 4, 1924, and Edward Gabriel Misey, born October 1, 1918.  They had met while both were employed at the Department of State.  The wedding ceremony was followed by a reception at the home of Johanna's parents in Bethesda, Maryland.  

See more about Johanna's ancestors in the separate sections on the Long Family of Tulsa and the Misey Family of Milwaukee.  More photos of Johanna are in the Long section and the Misey section.

     In April 1992, Neil and Johanna bought a townhouse on Twin Holly Lane, in Silver Spring, Maryland, from which both commuted to work on the Washington Metro.  Johanna joined Neil on his trips to WHO and UPU meetings, and they traveled extensively in Switzerland, France, Italy, Spain, Morocco, China, Japan and other countries.  In turn, when Johanna traveled for her employer, the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies (NASAA), Neil often joined her at NASAA meetings in New York, Memphis, Charleston, Portland, Phoenix, Portsmouth, Boise and other cities.  And separate from work, in 2004, Neil and Johanna spent two weeks on a driving tour of Ireland. In later travels, they visited Turkey, Nova Scotia, Italy, France and Switzerland. This link includes photos from 2011 trips to Paris and the Swiss Alps.
Neil and Johanna's Wedding, 1992 Neil and Johanna are married, 1992 In Beijing, Great Hall of the People, 1999
Neil and Johanna, 1992 Neil and Johanna on their wedding day, 1992, with Neil's mother Anna Boyer and niece Stephanie Parks At Postal Union meeting in Beijing,
in the Great Hall of the People, 1999

In Emerald Isle, North Carolina, 1993 Neil and Johanna in Puerto Rico, 1997 Neil and Johanna in Charleston, 2002
In North Carolina, 1993 In Puerto Rico, 1997 In Charleston, South Carolina, 2002

Neil in Nova Scotia, 2009 Johanna in Nova Scotia, 2009 Neil and Johanna, Nova Scotia, 2009
Neil and Johanna Boyer in Nova Scotia, August 2009

Neil's Harbor, Nova Scotia, 2009 Johanna with the Lobsters, 2009 Neil and Johanna in Venice, Dec 2009
At Neil's Harbor and Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, 2009 In Venice, December 2009

Washington Nationals Fan, 2011 No. 38 with the NationalsNeil and Johanna in Wengen, June 2011
The Washington Nationals shirt was a
2011 gift from Gary and Sabrina.  
The number?  Apparently, the age!
Visiting First mountain
in the Alps above Grindelwald, 2011

      Johanna had been born in Washington, D. C., and lived there during her early years.  Her father was an attorney with the U.S. Department of State and served with the Foreign Service on assignments abroad.  Johanna attended first and second grade in Manila, the Philippines, where her father was legal adviser to the U.S. embassy, and her fifth grade was at the College du Leman, Versoix, Switzerland, near Geneva, where her father was legal counsel of the U.S. Mission to International Organizations in Geneva.  When the family returned to Washington, they lived at 3263 Beech Street, N.W., and Johanna attended Lafayette Elementary School.

      In 1973, the Miseys moved to 6306 Herkos Court in the Drumaldry section of Bethesda, Maryland, just outside Washington.  Johanna attended North Bethesda Junior High School and Walter Johnson High School, from which she graduated in 1979.  After high school, Johanna went to Carleton College, in Northfield, Minnesota.  She graduated with a B. A. degree in English in 1983.

Johanna with Elvis in Memphis, 1996 Johanna in Switzerland, 2001 Johanna, leaving NASAA, 2004
With Elvis in Memphis, 1996 Johanna in Switzerland, 2001 Leaving NASAA, 2004

Neil and Johanna, September 2010 Neil and Johanna, October 2010
Neil and Johanna at Gary's wedding, September 2010, and at the Boyer reunion in October 2010

Neil's Silver Spring House, with 1967 MGB/GT Ruff Boyer, 2004Jake Boyer, 2012
Silver Spring house,
with 1967 MGB/GT
Ruff Boyer, 2004Jake Boyer,
Adopted in 2012

Neil Hiking in Lauterbrunnen, Switz., 2011Johanna at Wengen,  2011Neil Hiking, above Wengen, SwitzerlandJohanna at Murren, 2011
On a trip to the Bernese Oberland, Switzerland, in June 2011. Left, in the  Lauterbrunnen Valley,
center, on a trail above Wengen, in front of the North Face of the Eiger, right, in Murren.

      Johanna returned to Bethesda after college and worked for short periods for the Department of State, for a temporary employment agency and for a practicing psychologist.   In November 1984, she began work with the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies (NASAA), in Washington.  NASAA represented state arts councils in their relationships with the National Endowment for the Arts and with the Congress.  Johanna became Member Services Director and supervised the conduct of the annual NASAA membership meeting, usually an assembly of about 400 arts administrators and directors in such cities as Omaha, New York, Providence and Memphis.  

      At the end of December 2004, Johanna decided to leave her job (after 20 years!) to do part-time consulting, and she created a consultation service called “JMB Arts Management.”  In 2006, among other things, she was working on a monograph on experiential education for the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts; managing the finals for a nationwide high school poetry competition, “Poetry Out Loud,” in conjunction with the National Endowment for the Arts; and helping to organize conferences relating to the involvement of elderly people in the arts.  Her website address was The change from full-time employment also allowed her to spend more time with her dad.  Her mother died on January 3, 2004, at the age of 79. Her father continued to live by himself for a while, in his apartment in Rockville, Maryland, and then in October 2006, he moved to the Riderwood Retirement Community north of Silver Spring, Maryland.       

ith her father in a retirement center, Johanna became more deeply involved in programs for senior citizens. In 2006, she became a volunteer ombusdsman for an assisted-living facility near her home in Montgomery County, Maryland, in a program operated by the county government, and spent time helping to solve problems for residents of the facility.  Then, drawing on her previous experience with arts programs, she strengthened her expertise on arts and aging programs, specifically on the mutual benefits of involving the elderly in the arts.  In 2007, under contract with three agencies, she authored a 235-page book aimed at bringing about greater collaboration in this area. It was entitled Creativity Matters: The Arts and Aging Toolkit. It was published in November 2007 and posted on the internet in March 2008.

Johanna's Book, Front Cover-1 Johanna's Book, Back Cover, 2007
Johanna's 2007 book on the arts and aging -- front and back covers.

     In her spare time, Johanna for many years provided voluntary service to a Washington organization called PETS-DC, an agency assisting the pets of people with AIDS and HIV infection.  PETS-DC would organize in "buddy teams" to ensure, for example, that dogs were walked twice a day, or that adequate pet food was made available to those who could not afford it, or that pets were ferried to and from the "dog wash."  Johanna became the "buddy team leader" for the North DC district and the buddy team director for all the buddy teams. For many years, her chief responsibility was the coordination of walk services for “Ruff,” a dog of mixed heritage (possibly part Pekinese, spaniel and terrier).  When Ruff’s master died of AIDS in 2004, Johanna and Neil adopted Ruff. He had been born in March 1992 and was first walked by Pets-DC during the terrible blizzard of 1993.  In early 2007, Ruff was 15 years old but full of energy and fun, despite a bad back, racing through the house with his stuffed moose, bear or dragon.  And at night he snored. In 2005, the Washington Post chronicled the story of Johanna and the "Ruff Walkers." In 2004, Johanna was made a member of the Pets-DC Board of Directors.  Ruff died at the end of November 2007, at the age of 15.  See a tribute to Ruff.  On October 27, 2012, Ruff's successor, Jake Boyer, about three years old, was adopted. Heritage unknown, he appeared to most experts as a mix of shiba inu. He was younger and more lively than Ruff and liked to direct his walks and coordinate his daily activities.

      In 2008, Johanna decided to return to school and began study for a master's degree in social work, at the University of Maryland in Baltimore. She was drawn to work with older people, especially after internships in an aging-services organization and a hospice, where she provided individual bereavement counseling and facilitated support groups for family members of people recently deceased. For her work in these organizations and in university classes, Johanna received the university's "award for excellence in gerontological social work" when her master's degree was conferred in May 2011. After passing her licensing exam in May, she was able to sign her name "Johanna Misey Boyer, MSW, LGSW" (Licensed Graduate Social Worker). In June 2011, she began work as the new "healing arts coordinator" at the Hospice of the Chesapeake, near Annapolis, Maryland, a position created to utilize Johanna's skills in developing arts-related interventions in work with older people, with the purpose of improving the quality of life for hospice patients. The goal of these interventions is to improve quality of life at the end of life. In 2009, Johanna was elected president of the Woodhollow Homeowner's Association in the Silver Spring community (17 townhouses) where she and Neil live.

Johanna at University of MD, 2011 Almost Strangled Johanna in Cap and Gown, 2011
Johanna at her graduation from the University of Maryland
School of Social Work, Baltimore, in May 2011 (almost strangled in getting hooded!)

      Neil and Genealogy.  In 1987, Neil undertook extensive research about his family and published a book called The Boyers of Easton.  The book contained 300 pages of documentation, clippings and charts, and more than 300 photographs.  In 2003, Neil also produced for family members a compact diskExplaining Genealogy at the Boyer Reunion, 1992 containing more than 2,500 photographs of Boyer family descendants of Neil’s grandfather, Lewis Elmer Boyer.  Neil also did genealogical work for the "Association of American Boyers," founded in 1905.  He served as assistant historian, and for some years led a genealogical forum at the association's annual reunion in Boyertown, Pennsylvania.  

     In 2005, Neil began to extend his research and learned website coding so that he could publish his historical research on the internet.  Major sections of his research on the Boyers and the Waltmans, including this one, were posted on the internet in 2006 and kept up to date. Photographs of family members were added in 2007.  The website was  Neil also was an amateur photographer, like his father and grandfather, and he amassed many color slides, prints and digital images. He also served for a time on the Board of Directors of the Woodhollow Homeowners Association, in the community where they lived, on 
Twin Holly Lane, Silver Spring, Maryland.

Children of Neil Boyer

      1.  Sabrina Nicole Boyer, first child of Neil and Alba Boyer, was born in George Washington University Hospital in Washington, D. C., on August 23, 1979. At the time, her parents lived at 4711 Tilden Street, N.W., Washington, D. C., 20016, and that was her home until she completed college.  She was baptized in the presence of her grandparents, Art and Anna Boyer, at Calvary Church, in Easton, wearing the same dress worn by her father at his baptism years earlier.  Later, Sabrina was also baptized in the presence of her other grandparents, Julio and Iris Giovacchini, in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Sabrina with Grandparents, Art and Anna Boyer, 1979 Sabrina with Grandparents Julio and Iris Giovacchini, 1980 Sabrina's Third Birthday, 1982
Sabrina with two sets of grandparents: Art and Anna Boyer, left, 1979,
and Julio and Iris Giovacchini, 1980
Sabrina's third
birthday, 1982

Sabrina is 11, in 1990 Sabrina, 8, with Spike, 10, 1987 Sabrina in Gruyere, Switzerland, 1983
Sabrina is 11, in 1990 Sabrina is 8 and
Spike is 10, in 1987
Sabrina, 9, in Gruyere,
Switzerland, 1989

      Sabrina attended Horace Mann Elementary School, from kindergarten until sixth grade, and then went to Hardy Middle School for grades 7 and 8.  Both schools were in the D. C. public school system.  In the summer between seventh and eighth grade, Sabrina went on a tour of Italy with her Hardy classmates.  From ninth to twelfth grades, Sabrina attended Oakcrest School, a small Catholic school near Tenley Circle, at 4201 Yuma Street, N.W. in Washington (it later moved to a new site in Virginia).  She was active in many school events, elected president of the junior class and a member of the student council.  She sang and danced in the highly praised musical variety shows produced by the school each year.   She was also copy editor of the yearbook during her senior year.  When she graduated in May 1997, Sabrina was first in her class and gave the valedictory speech at commencement.  She also received a number of the school's academic awards.

Sabrina as Sailor, 1996 Oakcrest Show, 1994 Oakcrest Show, 1995 Oakcrest Graduation, 1997
Sabrina in shows of the Oakcrest School, in 1996, 1994 and 1995 Oakcrest Valedictorian,
1997, with brother Gary

      During her high school years, Sabrina worked in the office of the Ross Veterinary Hospital, on McArthur Boulevard in Washington.  She first served as a volunteer, while she was in middle school, and then as a paid employee until she went to Swarthmore.  She assisted in the treatment of the animals and worked with pet-owners and other customers in scheduling appointments and collecting fees.

      In her vacation periods during school, Sabrina and her brother Gary regularly spent two weeks with their father and his wife Johanna -- first at Leisure Lake, in Scotrun PA, just northwest of Stroudsburg, and then in various vacation houses at Emerald Isle, North Carolina, located on Bogue Inlet, near Swansboro.  Sabrina also traveled internationally, visiting Argentina on several occasions with her mother and Geneva and Paris with her father.

Bushkill Falls PA, 1986 Bushkill Falls, 1992
At Bushkill Falls, Pennsylvania, 1986 and 1992 -- Gary, Sabrina, Johanna and Neil

Leisure Lake, 1990 The Fish Catch at Emerald Isle, 1997 Hang Gliding near Kitty Hawk, NC, 1999
At Leisure Lake, 1990 The Fish Catch at Emerald Isle, North Carolina, 1997 Hang Gliding near Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, 1999

      In the college entrance competition, from the six schools that offered her admission, Sabrina chose Swarthmore College, in Swarthmore, Pennsylvania, on the outskirts of Philadelphia, and enrolled there in August 1997.  Among other activities, she immediately joined the women's rugby team.  During her junior year, Sabrina undertook a study-abroad program at the University of San Francisco in Quito, Ecuador (in Spanish “Universidad San Francisco de Quito” – USFQ).  Initially planning to stay only one semester, she liked the program so much that she stayed the entire year.  Her time in Ecuador got her interested in volcanoes, and during the following summer she obtained an internship with the Smithsonian Institution’s Museum of Natural History in the section dealing with earthquakes and volcanoes.  Sabrina graduated from Swarthmore in 2001 with a B.A. degree in biology with a concentration in environmental studies.

Rugby Player at Swarthmore, 1997 Sabrina has the Ball Sabrina at Swarthmore, 1999
Sabrina as rugby player at Swarthmore, 1997.  At right,
Sabrina has the ball. (One semester of this was enough!)
The Swarthmore student in 1999

Sabrina and Dad, 1992 Neil and Sabrina in Ecuador Market, 2000 Swarthmore Grad, 2001
Sabrina and Dad, 1992 At the open market in Otovalo, Ecuador, 2000 Swarthmore grad, 2001

      Following graduation from Swarthmore, Sabrina worked briefly for her mother’s employer, the International Center for Language Services, and then in early 2002 she joined Conservation International (CI) as a professional staff member in the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF).  This position gave her the opportunity to travel to Costa Rica, Brazil, Ecuador, South Africa and Madagascar in her first several years with CI.  In 2005, she was CEPF grants coordinator for Latin America.  When Sabrina and Matt moved to Charlottesville in 2005, she stopped working for CI and began study for a master's degree at the University of Virginia. In the fall of 2007, Sabrina took a position as a teaching assistant for a UVA class in geology.

      Meeting Matt Foster.  Shortly after joining Conservation International, Sabrina met Matthew Nathaniel Foster, another CI staff member.  They became engaged on Easter Sunday 2003 (the ring was found as part of an “egg hunt”), and they were married on July 10, 2004.  Here is Sabrina’s description of their meeting:

How We Met:

Conservation International's Annual Planning Reception in April 2002 was held in the United States Botanical Garden in Washington DC, and luckily for us there was a Latin band.  Matt spotted Sabrina from across the crowded dance floor and inquired of a mutual friend as to the beautiful girl's identity.  We were introduced, shared a dance, and the rest is history.  Sabrina was surprised that a full-blood gringo could dance salsa and samba (Matt's still working on teaching samba to Sabrina since that night).

In May we had our first "date."  Matt and friends met Sabrina, her friends, and mother at the DC flamenco festival. She and Matt went out for Brazilian food that night followed by iced-tea on the roof of Matt's apartment building.  When it got too chilly on the roof, Matt showed Sabrina the fishes he was "caring for" and Sabrina was appalled that the tank was so dirty there wasn't a fish to be seen!  She helped Matt clean the stinky mess, hands collided, and sparks flew.  After meeting the Foster family during vacation in Green Lake, Wisconsin, and then all the family friends at David and Tania Foster's wedding (both in July 2002) Matt was convinced that this was the girl for him.  

In March 2003, Sabrina traveled to South Africa and Madagascar for work while Matt traveled to Brazil.  It was during this time that the ideas for the proposal firmed in Matt's head.  Sabrina mentioned how much she liked the Carlos Vives CD she was listening to, especially "Quiero Verte Sonreir."  The first line of the song is: “Quiero verte sonreir/ Quiero darte mi canción/ En una tarde de abril/ Voy a regalarte el sol.”  (I want to see you smile/I want to give you my song/In an afternoon in April/I am going to give you the sun.)  When Sabrina finally returned from her travels on the Saturday before Easter in April, Matt whisked her off to the forests of Pennsylvania for a getaway to a little cabin before visiting Sabrina's grandmother in Nazareth, Pennsylvania.  Matt had planned the proposal for Saturday night, but Sabrina was exhausted from her travels and was about to pass out in her salad, so he decided to put it off until morning.  

When Sabrina woke up, Matt made her look around for her Easter eggs. She found the first egg relatively easily - a giant red candy easter egg.  But Matt told her there was another "egg" to find. They had to play "Hot and Cold" until Sabrina finally found the round wooden box with a sun on the top.  Sabrina thought, "What a nice box he brought me from Brazil!"  Matt said, "You have to open it up."  Sabrina opened it up and found some flower petals. "What nice potpourri!" Sabrina thought. "Look closer," Matt urged.  Sabrina dug a little bit and saw something metallic, and thought, "He brought me earrings too!"  But then she froze when something glimmered to a degree unknown to any metal - a diamond!  When Matt saw that she was short of breath, he got on one knee at her side.  Sabrina could only mutter, "Oh my God, Oh my God, Oh my God!"  Matt asked her to be his wife and slipped the ring on her finger, and Sabrina answered "Yes!"

      About 100 people – family, CI staff members and friends – attended their wedding at the Church of the Annunciation, on Massachusetts Avenue in Washington.  Sabrina’s father gave her away and her brother was one of the ushers.  A reception was held at Rockwood Manor, a facility operated by the Montgomery County Department of Parks, in Potomac, Maryland.  Sabrina and Matt spent their wedding night at the Tabard Inn on N Street in Washington and then took a brief mini-honeymoon at a resort in the mountains of nearby West Virginia.  The real honeymoon came in a two-week trip to Hawaii in October 2004.  

Sabrina and Matt, 2003 Leaving the Wedding, 2005 Wedding Reception Crowd, 2004
Sabrina and Matt, 2003 Wedding Photos, in the car and at Rockwood Manor, July 2004

Reception Photo, 2004 Sabrina Dances with Dad, 2004 Sabrina and Gary, 2004
At Rockwood manor. Dad dances with the bride (sort of) Sabrina and brother Gary,
at the wedding, 2004

    Following the wedding, Sabrina and Matt lived for a year in an 11-story apartment building in Arlington, Virginia, and used the Washington Metro to commute to work.  In 2005, they moved to Charlottesville, Virginia, where Matt continued to work for Conservation International. In August 2009, Sabrina received from the University of Virginia her Master of Arts degree in Environmental Sciences, with a focus on ecology, and she 
began working full-time for the environmental consulting firm "e2" (pronounced "E-Squared") in Charlottesville. Among other tasks, the company carried out projects in cooperation with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and other agencies. Sabrina was often involved in review of and reporting on Superfund clean-up sites. In February 2011, the company changed its name to Skeo Solutions. After almost ten years with Conservation International, Matt left in April 2011 to take a senior position at the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation in Washington. Matt and Sabrina maintained their home in Charlottesville but rented a house in Alexandria to ease the problem of commuting to jobs in different cities. Matt and Sabrina were the parents of Lucia, a rambunctious black labrador mix. Sabrina and Matt had a son, Elijah Nicholas Foster.

      Matt Foster had been born on January 17, 1973, in Rockford, Illinois, the son of John Foster, a physician, and Mary Ann Foster, a teacher and later a real estate agent in Rockford.  Matt attended public schools in Rockford and graduated from the University of Illinois in 1995.  He had two older sisters, Elizabeth and Rebecca, and one younger brother, David.  Before Matt’s graduation from Illinois, he spent six months studying in Quito, Ecuador, in 1993.   He worked as a volunteer for six months in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, and then taught in the Rockford Public Schools for two years before going to graduate school. At Tufts University, he earned his master's degree in environmental analysis in 1999 and then spent two years working on Cape Cod with the International Fund for Animal Welfare. In 2001, Matt moved to Washington DC to work with Conservation International.  Fluent in Spanish and Portuguese, Matt did extensive traveling to Brazil, Mexico and other Latin American countries in support of CI-funded environmental activities.  In 2007, he became Conservation International's Director of Conservation Outcomes, heading a group of three people identifying conservation priorities in Latin America, Asia and the Pacific, and Africa and Eurasia.

      It was at CI that Matt met Sabrina.  His brother David Foster served as his best man at the wedding in July 2004, and his sisters Rebecca Messerschmidt and Elizabeth Steward provided music.  Several nephews and nieces also participated in the service.

Matt, Sabrina and Lucy, 2006 Lucia Foster, 2007 Matt and Sabrina in Argentina, 2007Sabrina, January 2012
Matt, Sabrina and Lucia in 2006 Lucia Foster, 2007 Matt and Sabrina
in Argentina, 2007
Sabrina in January 2012

Sabrina and Matt, 2009 At Gary's Wedding, 2010Sabrina in Kenya, 2011 -- Giraffe KissSabrina and Matt Foster, January 2012
At Christmas, 2009, and at Gary's wedding, 2010Sabrina welcomed by a giraffe
in Kenya, 2011
Sabrina and Matt Foster,
January 2012

      On January 13, 2015, Elijah Nicholas Foster (Eli), first child of Sabrina and Matt Foster, was born in Charlottesville, Virginia.

     On July 7, 2017, Tobias Julian Foster (Toby)
, second child of Sabrina and Matt Foster, was born in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Neil and Iris, December 2015

Johanna and Eli, November 2015
Grandad Neil with Iris, December 2015, and
Johanna teaching Eli the piano, November 2015

Sabrina and her Sons, August 2017 Eli and Toby musicians
Sabrina introduces Eli to his new brother.
Eli gets to hold brother Toby.
 Foster Family Entertainers -- Matt, Toby and Eli

Eli and Granddad Johanna and Toby
Eli reading with Granddad
Newborn Toby with Grandma Jo

      2.  Gary Steven Boyer, the second child of Neil and Alba Boyer, was born on November 6, 1983, at George Washington University Hospital in Washington, D. C. 

Sabrina has a brother, 1983 Baptism in Easton, 1983 Baptism with Anna and Art Boyer
Sabrina has a brother! Gary's baptism in Easton, 1983, in baptism dress worn by his dad.  With Gary's aunt, Ann Lee Parks, sister Sabrina, mother Alba, and grandparents Anna and Art Boyer

Gary, 3, at Leisure Lake, 1986 Gary on a bike, 1990 Boogie board in North Carolibna, 1992
Gary, 3, at Leisure Lake, 1986 Gary, 6, in 1990 At the beach, 1992

        He attended Horace Mann Elementary School, a Washington, D.C., public school honored for its excellence by the U.S. Department of Education.  Gary was a student there from pre-kindergarten through sixth grade.  For seventh and eighth grade, Gary attended St. Ann's Academy, a small school on Wisconsin Avenue at Tenley Circle in Washington.  The entrance to the school was just across the street from Oakcrest School, which was attended by his sister, Sabrina.  In September 1997, Gary began attending St. John's College High School, on Military Road in Washington.  Gary chose the Junior ROTC course of study and dressed in his military uniform for school, but he dropped the military program after one year.  He graduated from St. John’s in 2001.

Monsieur Boyer, en Paris, 1993 At the Eiffel Tower, 1993 At Sacre Coeur with dad, 1993 In Geneva, Switzerland, 1993
In Paris, 1993: Cheese and fruit for breakfast for Monsieur Boyer,
at the Eiffel Tower, with dad at Sacre Coeur
In Geneva, Switzerland, 1993

      At St. John's, Gary joined the school soccer team and started for the junior varsity.  He also continued more than five years of soccer play for the Comets, a team in the Stoddert Soccer League.  Gary regularly started for the Comets and was one of their best players.

Gary running, 1991 Gary with the Comets, 1994 Gary, 10, with Grandma, 1994
The athlete practices, 1991 Playing for the Comets, 1994 Gary, 10, with Grandma, 1994

      In the fall of 2001, Gary entered St. Mary’s College of Maryland, in St. Mary’s City, about two hours southeast of Washington, and majored in economics.  While in college, he became an expert trader on E-Bay, and put major efforts into improving various cars.  In his last year at St. John’s, Gary secured a maroon 1989 Honda Accord sedan, which he quickly dubbed “Juanita.”  In very little time, Juanita turned out to be a “lemon,” as almost every part needed repair or replacement.  In 2003, he traded the Honda for a 1993 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited, which seemed to be in good condition at the time but then followed the path of the Honda.  When Johanna inherited her mother’s car in 2004, she gave Gary her black 1994 Toyota Corolla and Gary embarked on an extended (very long), eventually successful, effort to sell the Jeep.  By early 2007, the Corolla had made many trips between Washington and Charleston, South Carolina. In August, 2007 Gary bought a 2004 GMC Canyon, a small four-door truck he had long admired.

Gary, Sixth Grade Graduation, 1995 St. John's High School Grad, 2001 Gary and Neil, 2010
Gary graduates from Horace
Mann School, sixth grade; with Sabrina and Alba, 1995
Gary with dad on graduation
from St. John's College
High School, 2001
Gary and his dad at Camp
Ton-A-Wandah, North Carolina, 2010

St. Mary's College Grad, 2005 St. Mary's Grad, 2005 Gary and Emma Gerald, 2002 Gary and the Canyon, 2007
Graduation from St. Mary's College of Maryland, 2005 Dressed for
debutante ball, with Emma Gerald, 2002
Gary and the GMC Canyon, September 2007

      Gary’s girlfriend in college, Emma Gerald of Pelham, New York, a fellow student at St. Mary’s, was presented for her social debut in her grandmother’s home town, Florence, South Carolina, in December 2002.  As the escort, Gary was persuaded (required) to wear white tie and tails, and the photographs showed a dashing couple.  In 2004, Gary was an usher in the wedding of his sister Sabrina and in December accompanied Emma once again to a fancy-dress debut in South Carolina, this time the debut of one of Emma’s sisters. In 2006, Gary acquired Buster, a large dog of mixed heritage, probably major part plott hound, who had a somewhat fierce appearance but a very gentle and laid-back personality.  When caught doing something he shouldn't do, Buster would voluntarily give himself a "time out." Buster died in 2014 at the age of 9.

Buster Ready to Roll, 2008
Buster Gives Himself Time Out Buster Boyer
Buster Boyer -- in the truck and ready to roll, and giving himself a "time out" for bad behavior

      Gary’s vacations included going to Geneva and Paris with his dad and Johanna when he was 9 and to Argentina with his mother and sister on several occasions.  Gary and Emma joined Sabrina and Matt at Emerald Isle, North Carolina, when Neil and Johanna rented a vacation cottage, and he drove to spend time with friends in Maine as well as to visit Emma at her home in New York. In early 2009, on the day before Valentine's Day, Gary and Emma became engaged while they were vacationing in Argentina. Gary proposed and gave Emma a ring while they were visiting the massive waterfalls in Iguazu National Park.

Gary at the Beach, 2002 Gary Boyer, 2002 Gary, 2004, at Sabrina's Wedding Gary, 2006, at Grandma's funeral
A Gary Gallery: 2002, 2002, 2004 at Sabrina's wedding, 2006 at Grandma's funeral

Gary and Sabrina, 2009 Emma, Gary, Matt, Sabrina, 2009 Gary and Emma Boyer, Jan 2012
Gary and Sabrina, January 2009 Emma, Gary, Matt and Sabrina, 2009 Gary and Emma, Jan 2012

      Gary graduated from St. Mary’s College of Maryland on May 14, 2005, with a degree of Bachelor of Arts in economics, with an emphasis in business.  After working for several months for Bank of America, in Washington, he moved in the fall of 2006 to the area around Charleston, South Carolina, first in Mount Pleasant and later in Isle of Palms.  He worked for a year as a project manager for Boss Carpet Cleaning, specializing in water extraction and flood damage. In early 2007, he began work as an automobile claims agent for Allstate Insurance in Charleston.  In November 2008, he moved back to Washington and began work on Allstate homeowner insurance claims in Columbia, Maryland. Then in July 2009, Gary and Emma moved to West Asheville, North Carolina, where Gary joined Americorps and began work on a project helping low-income families insulate their homes.

      On September 18, 2010, Gary and Emma were married. The wedding was at Camp Ton-A-Wandah, a summer camp for young girls in the mountains of western North Carolina, close to Hendersonville and Flat Rock. Wedding guests were invited to stay for two nights in the rustic cabins and to participate in swimming, rock climbing and zip-line adventures. Gary and Emma were married at the bottom of a waterfall late on Saturday afternoon. The wedding party included Emma's three sisters (Grace, Ann and Sarah Gerald), and one brother (Will Gerald), Gary's father, Neil, as best man, and his sister, Sabrina, as well as several friends of both Gary and Emma. On the Monday after the wedding, Emma and Gary Boyer left a for ten-day honeymoon at two "green" ecological resorts in Nicaragua. The wedding was announced in The State, a South Carolina newspaper, as well as a New York Hudson Valley publication.

      In February 2011, Gary began work for Edge Energy, a firm performing weatherization work on homes in the Washington and Baltimore areas. Gary's job was to perform energy audits on houses, followed by estimates on work needed to improve the energy efficiency of the buildings. Gary and Emma (and Buster) moved to the Del Ray section of Alexandria, Virginia, in April 2011. In early 2015, they bought a house in Georgetown, South Carolina, and embarked on a significant up-grade project. About the same time, Emma secured a position as the Riverkeeper for the Waccamaw River and adjacent land in the Winyah Bay watershed, which covers northeast South Carolina and southeast North Carolina. In May 2015, Emma and her new job were featured in an article in the Myrtle Beach On-Line website. This letter from July 2015 contains Emma's description of her new job, a brief biography and a picture of Emma at work in the Riverkeeper role.

     On August 3, 2015, Iris Monroe Boyer was born to Gary and Emma. Iris arrived six weeks before she was expected, weighing four pounds one ounce. Emma gave birth at Trident  Medical Center in Charleston, South Carolina.

Lucta, Emma and Iris, August 2015 Gary and Iris, one day old
Iris, Almost Two
Three Generations: Lucta,
Emma and Iris, August 2015
Gary and his daughter, Iris, one day old, on August 4, 2015
Iris, July 2017,
almost two years old (looking grown up)

On August 11, 2017, Maren Wade Boyer, second child of Emma and Gary Boyer, was born at Charleston Birth Place,  in Charleston, South Carolina. She weighed six pounds, 11.5 ounces.

Gary's Family, August 13, 2017
Iris and Maren Get Acquainted
Gary, Emma, Iris and Maren return
to Georgetown SC after the birth of Maren.

Iris gets aquainted with Maren,
her new sister, two days old, August 2017

Read more here:

Zipline Adventurers Gary, Emma and Emma's Brother Will Wedding Day Fun at Tonawandah Gary and Emma, the day before the wedding
After riding the zip-line across the lake, Gary and Emma pose with
Will Gerald, Emma's brother.
Emma and Gary go down the slide  at Lake Ton-A-Wandah.

Gary and Emma on the
day before the wedding.

Emma and Gary, Wedding Night Dance, 2010 Emma and Gary after the Ceremony, 2010Teresa with Gary, Alba, Sabrina
Emma and Gary dance at the reception after the wedding.Gary with Sabrina, Alba and his
Aunt Teresa, who traveled from Argentina.

        The Gerald Family.  Emma Gerald Boyer, wife of Gary, was one of five children of Lucta Allen-Gerald and William Levi Gerald (1954-2008). Emma was born on June 17, 1983. She and her siblings were born in South Carolina but went to public schools in Pelham, New York. Their father was a prominent surgical pathologist at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, with a special interest in cancers of young people and the molecular biology of cancer. He was born on March 2, 1954, the son of Thelma Todd Gerald (1919-2009) and Cleeland Talbert Gerald. His parents lived in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Dr. Gerald died of cancer at his home in Pelham on September 14, 2008, at the age of 54. William Gerald married Lucta Allen on May 5, 1979. Lucta was a nurse and for many years was the camp nurse at Camp Ton-A-Wandah, which her four daughters attended and where Emma and Gary were married. In 2010, she lived in Marion, South Carolina. Her mother, Lucta Johnson Allen (known as "Lucky Mama"), lived in Florence.

        William and Lucta Gerald had five children:

William Cleeland Gerald
Emma Gerald
Grace Lucta Gerald
Anne Marshall Gerald
Sarah Todd Gerald

Emma with parents and grandma, 2002
Gerald Family at the Beach, 2008 Lucta, Lucta, Gary, 2010
At Emma's debut in Florence, 2002: Emma with her parents, William
and Lucta Gerald, and Emma's grandmother, Thelma Todd Gerald
The Gerald family at the
beach in 2008.  From left, Sarah, Will, Grace, William, Emma, Lucta and Anne
Gary with Emma's mother, Lucta Allen Gerald, and her other grandmother, Lucta Johnson Allen (Lucky Mama), 2010

Will Gerald and Emma, 2010 Gerald Sisters, 2010 Gerald Girls, Thanksgiving 2010
The Gerald Siblings: At the wedding in 2010, Emma is escorted by
her brother Will. Her sisters Sarah, Anne and Grace await the ceremony.
Gary and the Geralds, Thanksgiving 2010

Lucky Mama, 2010 Lucta and Emma, 2010 Gary and the Gerald Girls
Emma's grandmother, Lucta Johnson Allen Emma and her mother, Lucta Allen Gerald Gary is attacked by the Gerald sisters!

Kayakers in Swansboro, NC, 2005 Emma, Gary, Neil, Sabrina, Matt, January 2012In Swansboro 2013
After a kayak tour in Swansboro, North Carolina, 2005: Front, Emma Gerald, Gary Boyer, Sabrina and Matt Foster. Back, Neil and Johanna Boyer Emma and Gary Boyer, Neil Boyer,
Sabrina and Matt Foster, January 2012
After dining  in
Swansboro NC, 2013

Neil Boyer's Family Genealogical Chart
Art and Anna Boyer of Easton
Ann Lee Boyer Parks
The Boyers of Easton
Photo Gallery of the Boyers of Easton
The Boyers of Orwigsburg
The Jacksons of Cumbria, England
Neil Boyer's Home Page