Willard Eugene “Bill” Boyd, 88, of Fairplain, WV, answered the call of his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on Friday, July 26, 2019.
Born in Ripley, WV, on March 18, 1931, Bill was the only son of Tennessee native Thomas Willard “T.W.” Boyd and Mary Adele (Rhodes) Boyd of Ripley. He was the eldest of three siblings.
He married Margaret Ann Shenefield on August 13, 1955, at Independence Church in Sandyville. Together they served that church for almost 64 years, raising three children and guiding many more along the way.
A 1949 graduate of Ripley High School, Bill enlisted in the United States Air Force in 1950; he served at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tuscon, Arizona and overseas in Guam, England, and North Africa. He was very active in the American Legion and VFW and volunteered for many years as the driver of a Veterans Administration van, transporting our nation’s heroes to the VA hospital. A highlight of Bill’s life was the pleasure of meeting the Commander-In-Chief, President George W. Bush in 2002.
Bill began work as a teenager, delivering groceries for Jackson County Wholesale Grocery of Sandyville, WV. A man with great mechanical aptitude and boundless energy, he co-owned with his father T.W. Boyd & Son Garage at Fairplain. He ran a countywide garbage collection business, a 24-hour wrecker/towing service, owned a body shop, and sold GMC trucks and Massey Ferguson farm equipment. He worked for Carl Smith, Inc. for many years.
Ever industrious, Bill assembled an impressive wood shop and enjoyed making log house squirrel feeders, birdhouses, and a host of projects for friends and for sale. He and lifelong friend Carl Stone founded what they called the Grunt & Groan Construction Company. He was able to use a computer and I-Phone 8 at 88 years old.
Bill understood the value of making family memories. He saved money to take his family on vacation every year. It was never paid for with credit. His children recall that for that one week, this hardworking man was all theirs! When his children were grown, he and Margaret crossed the country with friends more than once, enjoying the blessings of God in this great country that he loved.
Another of his greatest passions was the annual fishing trip to Canada with his friends. When a fishing buddy of greater means offered to pay for his trip, Bill declared that if he would not be allowed to pay his own way, he would not go!
In the late 1960s, Bill purchased a property in the mountains. He built a cabin there in the early 1970s, and to that tract along Red Creek in Tucker County he and his family retreated as often as they could. Priceless memories were made fishing, hunting, hiking, and times shared with family and friends.
A great storyteller and one of the world’s great laughers, he was the sunshine in any room. Bill was a “man of a thousand friends” because he was generous with his time, his energy, and whatever he had. He was a living blessing to all who knew him. Character, service, and patriotism defined him. All will sadly miss him.
In addition to his parents, his beloved daughter, Deborah Darlene Stone; two infant sibling sisters, his beloved sister, Patricia Winter, and grandson, Steven Bryce Stone, preceded Bill in death.
In addition to his wife of 63 years Margaret, Bill is survived by his son, Craig Eugene Boyd (Angie) of Sevierville, Tennessee; daughter, Natalie Ann Wayne (Mark) of Evans; sister, Donna Sue Cobb (Dan) of Racine, Ohio; son-in-law, Steve Stone of Sandyville; seven grandchildren; Zachary Stone (Allison) of St. Albans, Nick Boyd (Sierra) of Maryville, Tennessee, Nathaniel Crowder (Cassie) of Dunbar, Lacey Struble (Collin) of Ripley, Ashley Gump (Mickey) of Ravenswood, Chase Wayne of Radford, VA, and Reagan Wayne of Chapel Hill, NC; three great-grandchildren, River, Jackson, Wrigley and one on the way! He is also survived by many nephews and nieces.
Service will be 11 a.m. Wednesday, July 31, 2019, at the Independence United Methodist Church, Sandyville, WV, with Pastor Jarrod Caltrider officiating. Burial with military honors by the Jackson County Honor Guard will follow in the Independence Cemetery. Visitation will be Tuesday, July 30, 2019, from 4 p.m. until 8 p.m. at Casto Funeral Home, Evans, WV, and from 10 a.m. until time of service on Wednesday at the church.
Condolences may be shared with the family at: castofuneralhome.com