"Grant was as steady a leader as you can find," said retired Vice Adm. Howard Greer. "He carried out each assignment with expertise and was always popular with the people who worked for him, regardless of their rank." Capt. Boice was born June 11, 1920, in Manassa, Colo., birthplace of boxing legend Jack Depsey, one of his heroes when he was growing up. "He told stories of laboring in the fields, riding to school on horseback and enduring extremely cold winters," Daniel Boice said. Because of his flaming red hair, childhood friends dubbed him "Red." He was on track to fulfill his dream of becoming a veterinarian when World War II intervened.
In July 1942, he joined the naval aviation cadet program in Pensacola, Fla.
His first tour of duty in 1943 was in Green Cove Springs, Fla., where he trained young pilots. Assigned to Air Group Fourteen in December 1944, he flew Corsairs as a fighter pilot aboard the aircraft carrier Intrepid.
In December 1948, Capt. Boice completed his first of several Mediterranean deployments by serving aboard the aircraft carrier Coral Sea. Then he was involved in an exchange tour with the Air Force. He flew tactical jets until January 1952.
During the Korean War, he attended the Naval Post Graduate School in Monterey.
He later flew Cutlass and Skyhawk aircraft as commanding officer of Attack Squadron 86, based at Naval Air Station, Cecil Field, Florida.
In 1963, Capt. Boice was assigned to the central command in Paris of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Promoted to captain, he went on to become European representative of the Commander of NATO'S Striking Fleet Atlantic.
During the Arab-Israeli war of 1967, Capt. Boice commanded the ammunition ship Sitkin, which was lauded for its efficiency in carrying supplies to the theater of operations.
A land assignment followed in Stuttgart, Germany, and in 1969 he married Jacqueline "Jackie" Lesniewska, the daughter of a Romanian prince.
For four years during the Vietnam War, Capt. Boice commanded reserves at Naval Air Station in Los Alamitos.