Cover photo for Anatoli Lee Boyko's Obituary
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1946 Anatoli 2023

Anatoli Lee Boyko

January 1, 1946 — October 2, 2023

Anatoli Lee Boyko was born January 1, 1946, in Wentorf, Germany, and died of cancer at home in Frankfort, IL, October 2, 2023. Lee was preceded in death by his mother, Maria, father, George and brother, Wally. He leaves behind the love of his life, his wife, Carolyn


Flanigan; his stepdaughter, Keelin Flanigan, who he thought of as his daughter; his stepson, Cullen Flanigan (Natalie), who even though he's a Cubs fan Lee thought he was a great guy; and his step grandchildren, Ella and Ethan Flanigan, who brought him pure joy.


Lee's parents, George and Maria with his brother, Wally, emigrated from Ukraine to Germany a few years before Lee was born. In 1950 they immigrated to the United States. After living on a Georgia farm for a year they settled in Decatur, IL. The family became US citizens August 12, 1963, and changed the spelling of their last name from Bojko to Boyko. Lee kept his Ukranian first name.


In 1964 Lee graduated from Decatur Eisenhower High School where he excelled all four years in baseball, basketball and football and lettered in all three sports. He played on the 1962 State


Championship baseball team as a sophomore, was that team's best hitter, and was a two-time state alltourney choice. Lee attended Illinois State University and lettered in baseball four years and football two. In 1966 Lee was awarded the ISU Team Batting Champion bat for a .371 batting average, which he proudly displayed. He also played baseball in the minor leagues.


Lee graduated from ISU in 1968 and taught PE and coached at Rich Central High School in Olympia


Fields, IL. On June 17, 1969, he was drafted into the Army and served two years at Fort Leonard Wood. After he was discharged from the Army Lee went back to teaching and coaching at Rich Central. During that time he also was awarded a Master's Degree in Counseling from SIU.


Over the 33 years he taught and coached at Rich Central he held positions as freshman coach, sophomore coach, varsity assistant coach and varsity head coach. Coach Boyko compiled a 209-47 sophomore coaching record that was highlighted by a 23-0 season in 1985. He became head varsity basketball coach in 1992 and held that position for 9 years until he retired from teaching in 2001. His varsity basketball coaching tenure at Rich Central included 3 conference championships, 4 IHSA Regional Championships, and I IHSA Sectional title. Lee had a 151-97 varsity record and was the 1998 District 8 IBCA Coach of the Year.


Lee Boyko was inducted into the Illinois Career Coaches Hall of Fame in 2011. He was inducted June 14, 1993, into the Decatur Athletic Council Hall of Fame along with the 1962 State Champion Baseball team. That team was also inducted into the Decatur Public Schools Athletic Hall of Fame in 2018. In January, 2019, Lee was inducted into the DPS Athletic Hall of Fame for baseball and basketball.


Anatoli Lee Boyko was fearless his entire life. When kids made fun of him because he was an immigrant, he beat them up. When he competed against taller, stronger, better opponents in sports, he wasn't intimidated and he coached his players to do the same. When he found out he had cancer he fearlessly faced the brutal treatments and side effects because that's what he always did. He was an amazing man and his death fills those who love him with overwhelming grief.


A celebration of Lee's life will be held at a later date. Please send donations to the ASPCA (American of Society for the Prevention Cruelty to Animals) or the Oral Cancer Foundation.

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