Robert L. Boyd, 91 went to be with the Lord on July 30, 2017. Robert was born June 11, 1926 to Austin McQuiston (Mack) Boyd and Cora Lee (Walker) Boyd on the family farm at Eureka, Navarro County Texas. He graduated from Mildred High School in 1943.
He was inducted into the U.S. Army in September 1944. After basic training at Camp Hood, and also in California he shipped out from Seattle to Hawaii for further training and the Pacific Campaign, where he was assigned to Company B 382nd Battalion 96th Infantry Division. His division along with 3 other Army divisions plus 2 Marine Corps divisions landed on April 1, 1945 in Okinawa beginning the largest and bloodiest battles of the war in the Pacific. On May 13 his company had been reduced from 200 men to about 50 and his company Commander, Lt. Seymour Terry, was leading the charge up Zebra Hill in the Battle of Okinawa when Lt. Terry was mortally wounded by a Japanese mortar. Under enemy fire, Robert and 3 other men carried Terry down the hill on a rain poncho. Lt. Terry was later awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor posthumously for his heroic actions. On May 27, on O-Boe Hill Robert was wounded in action by hand grenade shrapnel while defending his position from a fox hole. He received the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Combat Infantry Badge, Army Good Conduct, Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal, Philippine Independence Medal and the World War II Victory Medal. Additionally, for its heroic efforts, the 96th Division was awarded the Army Presidential Unit Citation. After recuperation in Guam, Robert rejoined the 96th division in Mindoro Island and Luzon Island in the Philippines. He served in the honor guard when General Douglas MacAthur returned to liberate the Philippines on July 5, 1946 and he was discharged in September 1946.
Robert met the love of his life, Helen Bonner in 1954 at the water cooler in the Navarro County Courthouse and they were married on June 25, 1955. They were blessed with 3 children: Mack, Jane and Jean. In the early 1950’s while running the family farm, Robert also began part-time work for United States Department of Agriculture Federal Crop Insurance which later became a full time job. He traveled extensively, often accompanied by his wife, Helen, throughout Texas as well as Oklahoma, New Mexico and Missouri selling crop insurance, working as a crop insurance claim adjuster and in district and state insurance offices. He also worked in Washington DC for several months on multiple occasions in the capacity as an appellate judge hearing insurance claim appeal cases where he earned the nickname “Judge”. He retired from Federal Crop Insurance after more than 50 years to fully devote his time to his beloved farm/ranch in Eureka which has been in the family for 125 years.
Robert enjoyed family gatherings, gardening, and especially his cattle and his farm/ranch. He was a member of the Westminster Presbyterian Church in Corsicana having served as elder and deacon for numerous terms and tracing his Presbyterian roots back over 200 years to Scotland. He served many years as an officer of the Eureka Cemetery Association.
Robert was preceded in death by his parents, sister, Onata Boyd, and brothers Nolan Boyd and James J. Boyd.
He is survived by his wife of 62 years, Helen; son, Mack Boyd and daughter-in-law Molly Boyd of Ennis; daughter Jane Williams and son-in-law Jerry Williams of Waxahachie; daughter Jean Bonds and son-in-law Bobby Bonds of Dallas. He is also survived by his five grandchildren, Kaitlin Williams of Austin, Sara Williams of Beverly Hills, California, Lindsey Williams of Troy, Alabama, Jamie Boyd of Pullman, Washington and Rob Boyd and wife Sydnee Boyd of Midland, and neighbors who are just like grandsons, Coyt Weaver and Teigan Weaver of Eureka. He is also survived by his brothers, Walker Boyd of Navasota, Texas, and Wallis Boyd and sister-in-law Kathy Boyd of Bradenton, Florida and many loving cousins, nieces and nephews.
Visitation with the family will be Thursday, August 3, 2017 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at Corley Funeral Home. Services will be held at 2:00 p.m. Friday, August 4, 2017 at Westminster Presbyterian Church with Dr. John Blewitt officiating. Burial will follow in Eureka Cemetery.
Serving as pallbearers will be Rob Boyd, Tim Boyd, Patrick Boyd, Chris Sparkman, Brian Sparkman, Coyt Weaver, Albert Weaver, John Hughes, David Bonner and Bobby Grantham. Honorary pallbearers are Barney Thomas, Sammy Thomas, B.J. Coker, Westminster Presbyterian Elders, and Federal Crop Insurance Co-workers.
The family wishes to express their thankfulness to Dr. Kent Rogers, and the caregivers of Angels at Home and Amazing Angels for their love, devotion and care.
Memorials may be made to the Eureka Cemetery Association, P.O. Box 34 Corsicana, Texas 75151.
An online guest book is available at www.corleyfuneralhome.com and selecting the Robert L. Boyd obituary.