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North Powder, Union County, Oregon
Arthur Thomas “Tom” Boyd, 76, a longtime North Powder community leader and rancher, died Feb. 10, 2005, at his home in Baker City.
There will be a celebration of life memorial service at 1 p.m. Saturday at the North Powder Community Methodist Church with a reception afterward at the Wolf Creek Grange in North Powder.
Tom was born on Oct. 19, 1928, at Baker City to Arthur Stanley and Sarah Miller Boyd. He attended school in Baker City and was a 1951 graduate of Oregon State University at Corvallis with a degree in animal husbandry.
In 1946, he married his high school sweetheart, Ruth Ellen Wood. The couple celebrated their 58th wedding anniversary in June. They had three sons.
Upon graduating from Oregon State, Tom and Ruth moved to the ranch on Wolf Creek at North Powder. The 43 years he spent on the ranch were the best years of his life.
He truly enjoyed ranching and working with his father and sons in the lamb and wool industry. He also enjoyed working with his brother-in-law, Boyd Brown, in the purchase of local wool pools.
Tom traveled the Western United States buying lambs for numerous packers and feeders and buying wool for Draper Wool & Co. based in Boston. The Boyd family affiliation with Draper Wool & Co. encompassed three generations and more than 70 years.
Tom’s honesty and integrity was well known and was the basis of his long and successful career. He made many lifelong friends in the livestock industry and was honored by the Idaho Wool Growers Association in 1998 for his contributions to the industry. He remained active in the affairs of the industry and discussed the sale of lambs the day he passed away.
Tom was very active in the local community. He served on the local school board and was chairman in his final year. He also served on the Education Service District Board.
He was a lifelong member of the Masonic Lodge and a Shriner, receiving his 50-year pin last year. He learned to fly while still in high school, having been taught by his uncle and role model, Harvey Miller.
Tom flew aerobatics and gave rides at many local county fairs in the PT-19 and aspired to be a World War II pilot, but the war ended too soon. He continued his love of flying by earning his commercial license and was a member of the Civil Air Patrol through his high school and college years. Later he served in the Oregon National Guard.
Tom loved to hunt. A major event every fall was the gathering of many of his friends from all over the state for hunting season. He knew and loved the mountains around North Powder, especially the Shaw Mountain, Summit Springs and Rock Creek areas.
He was a successful hunter and instilled in his sons the love of hunting. His favorite food was venison back strap with sheepherder potatoes.
Tom and Ruth enjoyed traveling. They made several trips overseas. In his later years, they enjoyed snowbirding to the Southwest and Mexico, searching out aeronautical museums and historical sites.
He was preceded in death by his parents; a sister, Monona Weber; grandson, Jacob Arthur; and nephews, Carl and Kevin Weber.
Survivors include his wife, Ruth Ellen; sons and daughters-in-law, Steve and Kathy of Walla Walla, Wash., Stan and Ann of Eagle, Idaho, and Dave and Urmi of Bend; grandchildren, Kim Boyd of Milton-Freewater, Jon and Terri Boyd of Walla Walla, Wash., Regan and Sam Boyd of Eagle, Idaho, and Nicholas and Ross Boyd of Bend; great-granddaughter, Chelsea Boyd of Milton-Freewater; a sister, Margaret Brown of Baker City; Uncle Harvey and Aunt Dorothy Miller of Beaverton; cousins, Zona and F.B. Clarke of Baker City, Elinor Marie Neilson of Salt Lake City, Joan Barlow of Lindon, Utah, Helen and Larry Berg of La Grande, Paul and Cheren Wood of Salt Lake City, Keith and Virginia Long of Baker City; and many loving nieces and nephews.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Baker County Library Foundation Board, the Shriners Hospital for Children, the North Powder Community Church, Pathway Hospice or a charity of one’s choice through Gray’s West & Co., 1500 Dewey Ave., Baker City, OR 97814.
Used with permission from: Baker City Herald, Baker City, Oregon, February 18, 2005
Transcribed by: Belva Ticknor