Billy Gean Boyd, a two-time World War II Bronze Star recipient and former commander of Ceres Post #10293 of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, has died.
Mr. Boyd died Sunday, Nov. 16. He was 88.
A graveside service was held Saturday at Lakewood Memorial Park's Evergreen Garden in Hughson. A luncheon gathering followed at the Lawrence Street Church of Christ in Ceres.
Bill served in the U.S. Army as a rifleman in the 41st Division, 162nd Regiment, C Company during World War II in the South Pacific. He served in New Guinea, the Philippines and Japan where he saw fierce fighting against the Japanese. He was awarded two Bronze stars for his service.
Mr. Boyd and several veteran friends were credited with starting the VFW charter in Ceres. Mr. Boyd wrote of his war tales in his book, "Survival Beyond Courage: Memoirs of an Infantryman."
"He never really said a lot about the war," said son Brian Boyd. "He carried his buddy out of the jungle which got him the Bronze Star and he got malaria when he was in the Philippines really bad. He had PTSD later in his life."
Bill Boyd was born April 30, 1926 to William Jacob Boyd and Ruth Beatrice Baker Boyd in Eufaula, Okla. The family came to California in 1930 to seek a better life, first settling on a farm on Morgan Road. He graduated from Modesto High School, the University of the Pacific in Stockton and U.C. Berkeley. He spent his career as an electronics teacher at Modesto Junior College and Manteca High School.
He was a longtime resident of Ceres and a member of Lawrence Street Church of Christ. He enjoyed electronics as a hobby and writing. He would often volunteer his time shuttling veterans back and forth between medical appointments at the VA hospitals in Livermore and Palo Alto. Mr. Boyd also was a member of the VFW Honor Guard which performed many ceremonies at community functions and veterans' funerals.
He leaves behind four children, Betty King (Bill) of Waterford, Billy Boyd of Ceres, Brian Boyd (Denise) of Ceres and Brenda Adams (Matt) of Belton, Texas; eight grandchildren, Andrew Sturtevant of San Jose, David Sturtevant of Oakdale, Christie Haase of Menifee, Kimberly Boyd and Katelyn Boyd both of Ceres, Corey Adams of Turlock, and Seattle Adams and Austin Adams, both of Belton, Texas; and 10 great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his wife of nearly 60 years, Irma (Tucker) Boyd, son Bobby Boyd and grandson Baby Boy Boyd.