Patrick L. Boyd -September 9, 1952-. February 13, 2018
Pat was born in the heart of America in Keokuk Iowa, a small town located on the banks of the Mississippi River . He always told his wife, Paula Hanninen, that "the best sailors come from the Midwest." Pat lived an American Life. He was a paperboy for the Keokuk paper, an Altar Boy at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Keokuk and a Boy Scout Troop 36 , Keokuk Iowa on the Mighty Mississipp. He learned to water ski on that same river and snuck into the Armory at night to play in the National Guard tanks. Overall, he was a pretty good kid, but just bad enough to be interesting.
Pat had a love of classical music and wooed his wife with Gregorian Chants and Copland's Appalachian Spring during their time together at Ole Miss from which he received his B.A. in 1976. He and Paula married three weeks later.
A patriot, Pat served his country as a Cold Warrior in the United States Navy for seven years, first as a Surface Warfare Officer, and then in Naval Intelligence.
After his time in the service, Pat worked as a Cable Laying Specialist for what was then AT&T's SOSUS group, based out of the Guilford Center, which is what brought him and his growing family to Alamance County. Finally heeding Paula's pleas for help with raising their four rambunctious daughters, in order to stay home, Pat co-founded Carolina Eye Prosthetics in l987. He served with love and gratitude his many patients, who found his low key approach and willingness to listen a great help to them as they navigated their own health crises.
Knowing that others helped him during his youth, Pat had a special interest in helping other young people. While watching the Western Alamance Junior Naval ROTC march in the Graham Christmas Parade one year, Pat decided they needed a boat, and started the first public high school sailing program in the state. Pat served as a Sunday School teacher with the toddlers and then later taught them as adolescents at the Episcopal Church of the Holy Comforter.
Never one to seek the limelight, Pat preferred to work behind the scenes, serving as a mentor to many young people, doing the work that had to be done on church committees and taking care of the household while Paula had to take care of her parents.
While no one in their right mind would call him an athlete, Pat was an excellent horseman, great at waterskiing and could shoot a squirrel for supper, which Paula tried and then rejected. He was also a craftsman, building most of the furniture in their home and two saunas for Paula. He designed and built two homes and restored a 33 ft. yacht on which the family sailed the Potomac River.
In 2012, following nearly three years of medical weirdness, Pat was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. His biggest concern, other than who was going to maintain his beard (which Paula did very well) was he wanted to be brave for his grandchildren as an example. We can all attest that he did his last task quite well. He kept his sense of humor, quiet grace and no-nonsense approach until the end.
Pat leaves his wife, four daughters, and their families: Emma Lee Boyd Nadolski, (Pat), Maddietate, Little Pat and Will. Anna Boyd Jefferson, (Michael) Harry and Bob. Clare McAndrew Martin, (Archie), Dougielou and Emmett; and Laina Boyd Ramey, (Travis), Lillymae and Maggie.
Pat's father, Bill Boyd and stepmother Maryann, survive as well has his sister, Julee Hooper and brother Nick Boyd.
Pat was predeceased by his granddaughter, Elizabeth Clare ; his mother, Emalee; and his brother, Kim.
We, who are sad, would like to thank everyone who made a difference; Dr. Richard Bedlack and his bevy of beauties at the Duke ALS clinic, Pat's nursing teams from Bayada and Private Duty Nursing, The Durham Veteran's Administration Home Health team, Dr. Scott Bennet and his gang at the AENT and the many many people who kept in contact when we were overwhelmed with life and too fraught to think.
Thank you all.