Today I attended the funeral of Anne Boyle, former Public Service Commissioner and Chair of the Nebraska Democratic Party and husband of former Mayor and current County Commissioner Mike Boyle.
Michael and I met Anne and Mike shortly after we moved to Omaha when she was running for Lieutenant Governor. And then whenever we saw them, usually at some sort of public event advocating for progressive causes, especially LGBT equality, they greeted us warmly as if they had known us for many years. They helped make us feel at home in Omaha.
It was immediately impressive to us, who had been LGBT activists in Oklahoma in the Aughts, that these prominent public officials were such staunch advocated for LGBT equality. That had not always been the case even with Democratic politicians in the first decade of this century.
Sometime last year our family was out to dinner at La Buvette and Anne entered the restaurant. She saw us, her face lit up, and she came over to chat. My mother was with us at the time, and she had a nice chat with Mom, but what I remember most was how she engaged 3-year-old Sebastian in conversation. Even he remembers it, as I showed him Anne's picture and asked if he remembered when he last saw her.
Anne was a political force but always kind and compassionate. Her funeral was filled with memorable stories and observations on her character. I appreciate Jeff Koterba's cartoon in the paper this week, where a young girl asks her Mom, who is preparing to read a bedtime story, "Instead of a story, can you tell me more about Anne Boyle? About her boldness and advocacy, her integrity and compassion?" Those are four virtues I'd like to be remembered for.