‘It overwhelmed us’

Published 8:33 pm Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Community, rock band support family after tragedy

It has been a hard month and a half for Craig and Angela Boyce, but the community and a certain rock band have pitched in to make it a little easier.

Their 6-year-old son, William, died at their home on Sept. 16. They asked to keep the details private.

William Boyce

Police believe the death was accidental, city spokeswoman Debbie George said last month, though a final determination is pending autopsy results.

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Despite the unbelievable circumstances, Craig Boyce said, the aftermath has renewed the couple’s faith in humanity.

Boyce, who suffers from terminal cancer, said friends from out of state organized an auction of Kiss memorabilia and other items on Facebook, which raised several hundred dollars for the family.

“She didn’t know what to do, but she wanted to do something,” Boyce said. “Little did we know it would grow into that big of a thing. It overwhelmed us.”

Boyce has been a big Kiss fan since he was 10 years old, and even got to meet the band several months ago. Vocalist Gene Simmons is his favorite, Boyce said.

“He was just the nicest guy,” Boyce said. “The most giving, caring guy.”

Angela Boyce said a friend contacted the band after Will died.

“When this happened, they remembered who he (Craig) was, and they were eager to help out,” she said.

The manager sent about 20 items of Kiss merchandise, most of it autographed, to be auctioned to help the Boyces.

“It blew me away how they became involved in it,” Craig Boyce said.

Even some former members of the band — and a former wife of a former member of the band — heard about what happened and sent items from their personal collections.

“It went beyond Kiss,” Craig Boyce said. “It was the whole Kiss family tree.”

The Boyces said Nansemond Parkway Elementary School, where Will attended, has also been “really good to us,” Craig Boyce said.

The school plans to hold a memorial service Saturday morning. Will’s older sisters, 10-year-old Jessica and 7-year-old Katelin, still attend Nansemond Parkway.

“Nobody expects a 6-year-old to die,” Boyce said. But, he added, the events following “definitely showed me how people really care.”