Dr. John E. Boyd, 81, of Princeton Junction passed away Monday, February 25, 2013 after a year-long battle with cancer at the University Medical Center of Princeton in Plainsboro.
Born on January 26, 1932 in the South of the United States, Dr. Boyd resided for most of his early life in Americus, Georgia. Midway through high school, he and his family moved to Kutztown, PA, where his father (Holland L. Boyd) took the position of Head of the English Department at Kutztown State College of PA. John Boyd earned his Bachelor's degree at Kutztown State, then his Master's degree at Lehigh University in eastern PA. While he was at Lehigh U., he met and married Ruth M. Butz of Bethlehem, PA, his wife of ultimately 58 years. John Boyd and his new bride then moved to State College, PA where he earned his PhD in Biological Chemistry at Penn State University. He graduated 4 weeks after the birth of his first child (Mark A. Boyd) and the family moved to Stamford, Conn where Dr. Boyd took a job as a research chemist at the American Cyanamid Co., where he was to remain as a researcher for the rest of his career. In 1961 the family moved to Princeton Jct. NJ, so Dr. Boyd could work at the newly built American Cyanamid Agricultural Research Center, where Dr. Boyd ultimately was to spend the remainder of his career, eventually rising to the position of Director of Computing Research. During the years just before his retirement, Dr. Boyd designed, developed, and supervised a robotic-based research lab (the first ever in his company).
Dr. Boyd had many and diverse recreational interests and hobbies. He had a life-long interest in classical music. He played difficult pieces for the piano literature in his youth, and began to compose piano pieces of his own. In addition to music, Dr. Boyd enjoyed a life-long interest in art. On his own he painted approximately a half dozen paintings of all types which have decorated the walls of the family home for many decades. His interests included archery, canoeing, and camping, as well and he participated as an adult leader in the local Boy Scout Troop 40 during all the years his son was working on (and achieved) the rank of Eagle Scout. He also enjoyed a life-long interest in electronics of all types and was an amateur radio operator for many years. He was a very early enthusiast for programmable computers when they first became available commercially and taught himself on his own how to program a computer to perform needed tasks at his work that only a computer could do efficiently.
Perhaps Dr. Boyd's greatest lifelong interest was in gardening, which he avidly pursued each year, turning what was initially a rather barren residential yard into a floral masterpiece bursting with color from a wide variety of flowers, flowering bushes, and flowering trees.
Predeceased by his parents, Holland L. and Jessie Boyd, and his wife, Ruth Minnie (Butz) Boyd; he is survived by a son, Dr. Mark A. Boyd of San Mateo, CA; a daughter, Dr. Sandra Boyd Davis and her husband, John Davis Jr., of Arcadia, CA; two grandsons, Stephen A. Boyd of San Mateo, CA, and John Davis III of San Diego, CA, and a granddaughter, April Davis of Arcadia, CA.
Family and friends may call on Friday evening, March 8, 2013, from 7 pm to 8 pm at the Saul Colonial Home, 3795 Nottingham Way, Hamilton Square, NJ to attend an informal Memorial gathering.
Cremation will take place privately.