A military hero who was twice wounded in combat, was a founding member of Westwood Church of Christ, and who spearheaded efforts to start F.C. Boyd Christian School has passed away.
Hubert Porter Boyd died Wednesday at age 93.
As a child, Mr. Boyd worked with his family nursery, which was located where the Westwood neighborhood is today. His high school career was interrupted by military service when he was drafted into the U.S. Army as a senior in 1944 to serve in World War II just two months after turning 18.
“They were looking for infantrymen, anybody who would go over there in the snow and ice without any place to sleep except a foxhole if you were lucky enough to dig one,” said Boyd in a 2012 interview with the Standard. “It was rough on an 18-year-old boy.”
As a private first class, Mr. Boyd served in North Africa, England, France and Italy and was involved in the invasion of Southern France in the 45th Division. He received two Purple Hearts, one for being wounded by German machine gun fire and one when wounded by shrapnel.
“After he was shot, he told me the Germans came up and kicked him while he was on the ground to see if he was still alive,” said nephew Larry Boyd. “He said it was awful hard to take that kick and not show any emotion, but they would have shot him again if they thought he was alive.”
After his military service, Mr. Boyd graduated from Middle Tennessee State Teachers College, now MTSU, in 1950. He was a founding member of Westwood Church of Christ and was a member of that congregation’s first assembly. Mr. Boyd later donated land behind the church building for a playground and park.
“He always tried to make things right, no matter what it took,” said Westwood elder Tim Deason. “There was so much good in him. That’s one of the things I admired.”
Mr. Boyd began serving as manager for Boyd Brothers Garden Center, a retail nursery sales yard in the Morrison area. That was shortly after he returned to McMinnville in 1954.
In the mid-1960s, he bought land at the base of Harrison Ferry Mountain that would become a rock quarry. Mr. Boyd managed the quarry for some time before selling his interest in the business.
One of his most lasting contributions was spearheading efforts to start F.C. Boyd Christian School on land he donated along with his brother Clark and sister Margaret. The school was named after their father and held its first classes in 1979.
Mr. Boyd built the gym for Boyd Christian School in memory of his late uncle J.R. Boyd and friend J.K. Stanley.
In another of his charitable contributions, Mr. Boyd donated the carillon that for years operated from the Westwood Church of Christ steeple. The carillon chimed on the hour and played music each day at 8 p.m. The carillon hasn’t been replaced since it was struck by lightning several years ago.
Mr. Boyd was also among a group that founded the Collins River Volunteer Fire Department in the early 1970s.
Funeral service for Mr. Boyd is Friday at 4 p.m. at Westwood Church of Christ. Obituary information is available on this page.