Originally Posted by AGLA
I would not bet my life on it, but it looks like Ilex convexa to me.
I agree with that. Almost sure it's not boxwood and 99% sure it's some sort of Ilex (Jap. Holly). And that's the variety I'd guess too.
Why it died? Hard for me to say. They are very hardy here. I don't see that up here in Oregon. Usually, it's the boxwood that don't make it. Japanese Holly are always the go-to plant for us if we want that look.