Historical and Educational Information
United States District Court for the District of Rhode Island


Senior U.S. District Judge Francis J. Boyle
NEWPORT - Francis Joseph Boyle, 79, of 12 Annandale Terrace, Newport, RI, died Monday, September 11, 2006 at home surrounded by his family. He was the husband of M. Delores (Roderick) Boyle. Born in Providence, RI on June 14, 1927, he was the son of the late Frank J. and Irene (Miller) Boyle. Judge Boyle served in the United States Navy, during World War II in the Philippines. Returning from the war, Judge Boyle attended Providence College and the University of Michigan and received a juris doctorate from Boston College Law School in 1952. He also received an Honorary Degree from Roger Williams University.

Judge Boyle started his private practice in 1953 in Pawtucket and later joined the Newport firm of Moore Virgadamo, Boyle and Lynch, where he practiced until 1977. In 1977 Senator Claiborne Pell suggested his name to President Jimmy Carter who nominated Judge Boyle to the United States District Court for a seat vacated by Edward W. Day. He was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on June 30, 1977, and sworn in at the Old Colony House in Newport on July 1, 1977. He served as Chief Judge, from 1982 to 1992 and assumed senior status on December 1, 1992.
During his tenure as Chief Judge, Judge Boyle was credited with modernizing the Court by installing a computer system, making Rhode Island's District Court one of the most efficient and technologically advanced in the nation. He was an early advocate of computer use in the courts and one of the first to have a computer monitor on his courtroom bench. As Chief Judge he was successsful in eliminating case backlogs and insisted on the practice of highest judicial ethical standards.

Judge Boyle served on the Judicial Conference of the United States. He sat on the Board of Trustees for St. Mary's Catholic Church, Newport. Judge Boyle was a former member and past president of Serra Club of Newport, a member of the United States and Rhode Island Bar Assocations, a member and past president of the Newport County Bar Association, President of the Men's Democratic Club, and a member of the Board of Regents of Education. As a Regent, he was Chairman of the Special Population Subcommittee. Judge Boyle was a founder of the Newport County Catholic Regional School (known today as All Saint's Academy), the first regional Catholic school in the Diocese of Providence, and is the author of legislation that provides transportation for students attending parochial and private schools.

Besides his wife, he is survived by his children Christopher Boyle and Matthew F. Boyle of Newport, RI, Patrick J. Boyle of Strathem, NH, Deborah A. Stone of Newburyport, MA, Carole L. Kane of Newport, RI, Susan B. Michael of Middletown, RI, and Katherine B. O'Mealey of Franklin, MA; his grandchildren Allison, Mary Katherine, John, Brian, and Daniel Boyle, Kevin, Brendan, Christopher, Erin, Rebecca, Mollie, Matthew, Emily, Kaitlin, Abigail; and his great-grandson John R. Carter Jr.

His funeral will be held on Saturday, September 16, 2006, at 9 a.m., from the Hambly Funeral Home, 30 Red Cross Avenue, Newport, with a Mass of Christian burial at 10 a.m., in St. Mary's Church, Spring Street, Newport. Burial with Military Honors will be in St. Columba's Cemetery in Middletown. Calling hours will be held on Friday, September 15, 2006, from 4-8 p.m. in the Hambly Funeral Home. Donations, in his memory, may be made to the St. Mary's Church Building Fund, Spring Street, Newport, RI 02840.