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Sara M. Boyd

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Sara M. Boyd Obituary
Sara M. Boyd

Norfolk - Sara Miller Boyd, 84, On New Year's Day, 2017, our much beloved Sara went home to be with her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. She is reunited with her many friends and family members who preceded her into heaven. At the time of her passing, Sara's devoted husband, Bob, was by her side. She was surrounded by her loving family.

Sara inspired and encouraged others throughout her beautiful life. As was her way, she continued to do so until the end. Sara was Christ's good and faithful servant. Throughout her life, she shone brightly, the love and compassion of her Lord upon everyone she encountered.

Sara was born in the small town of Holly Hill, South Carolina where she grew up with her brothers and sister, riding her beloved horse, Dan along sugar sand country roads. Sara attended Ashely Hall, a private finishing school in Charleston, during high school. After graduating as valedictorian of her class, Sara came to Williamsburg to attend The College of William and Mary. There, she met her beloved husband, Robert F. Boyd. Bob and Sara were married in the Wren Chapel on the campus of William and Mary in 1952. They remained happily married for 64 wonderful years. Sara completed her studies at William and Mary in just three years. She was elected to join the Phi Beta Kappa honor society and graduated summa cum laude, just in time to join Bob in his service as Chief Trial Counsel of the General Court Martial Board of the Marine Corps at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. After military service, Sara and Bob returned to Norfolk, Va. where Bob commenced his practice of law.

Sara and Bob's first son, Dr. Robert F. Boyd, Jr., along with his wife, Mallory, head New Fire for Christ They are international evangelists with ministries in seven nations around the world. Their second son, David M. Boyd is married to Marianne. He is a Marine scientist at the University of Virginia's facility at Oyster, Va. Daughter, Mary Beth Horton is a real estate professional and is married to Dr. Charles E. Horton, Jr., James M. Boyd practices law with his father, Bob. Including their children, grandchildren and great grandchildren, Sara and Bob's immediate family numbers 27 members.

Sara and Bob consistently lived their lives together according to their faith in Christ, serving others and the community in which they live. In addition to raising their four children, Sara ministered to others in tangible ways. She served as a "Pink Lady" for over 20 years at Norfolk General Hospital. No task was too small or menial for Sara as she did great good for others, whether sharing an encouraging word during her many visits with those who were sick or meeting the individual needs of patients through innumerable acts of kindness, such as washing their hair.

Sara was Superintendent of the church Sunday school, a teacher and church leader at Park Place United Methodist Church for many years. She served as President of the Women of Wesleyan, during the years that Virginia Wesleyan College was being founded. She served as President of the Virginia Lawyers Wives. She was a founding Trustee of the Virginia Marine Science Museum. She was a Director of the Virginia Institute of Marine Science. She served on the endowment Board of the College of William and Mary. Sara was a Master Docent at the Chrysler Museum where she loved imparting knowledge of art, especially to children.

Sara was awarded The William and Mary Gold Medallion, the College's highest honor (Bob was so honored simultaneously, a first in the history of the College). The following excerpt comes from an article written about Sara to recognize her as she received that honor.

"When Sara Grace Miller Boyd feels passionately about doing something, she makes it happen. Fortunately, for the "Strolling Silver Strings", a high school musical group in Norfolk, many of whom were underprivileged, Sara's passion for helping people created a unique opportunity.

Sara heard the 40-member "Strolling Silver Strings" perform at a function where most of the crowd was too busy chatting to notice these young performers. She was so impressed with their abilities that she went over to the group to compliment them. As Sara approached, two boys dropped to their knees to serenade her they stole her heart.

Sara suggested to the musical director that the students should perform internationally. "People really appreciate this type of performance in Europe," said Sara. "I wanted to give them a window to look through and see the opportunities." Sara and her husband, Bob sponsored the student's concert tour to Geneva, Switzerland that year and Sara traveled to Europe with the performers on two other trips.

Sara related the story that on one of those trips, she held a flight on the notoriously punctual Swissair for over an hour when the 40 performers were delayed at a Washington, D.C., airport because of weather. The trip was an eye-opening experience for Sara, who functioned as a counselor and confidant for a number of the young musicians.

When asked, "what was her fondest memory of William & Mary", Sara said "I met Bob there."

She credits growing up in a house full of boys with giving her the courage to approach Bob. "He was the head cheerleader, founder of the Pep club and a big man on campus in his second year of law school, and I was a lowly freshman. I didn't think he would even look at me," said Sara. That didn't stop her from visiting him in the infirmary after he had a cheerleading accident. She noticed him at games, and especially remembers a particular bus ride to a Tennessee game when Bob was showing off his law knowledge to her. When she told him that she was from South Carolina, he said, "That's the only state that doesn't allow divorce." She responded by saying "I know, and we're proud of it, too!"

Her dedication to community shouldn't surprise anyone who knows Sara Boyd because when she feels passionately about something, she makes it happen."

Sara was humble about her many accomplishments. They did not define her. She never judged others, no matter their station nor circumstance, she simply loved them. Sara's devotion to her husband, Bob was unwavering. Her love for her children and grandchildren, was unconditional. She loved people and she loved animals. She was gentle. She was compassionate, always ready with a kind word of encouragement and a beautiful smile which she offered readily. Those qualities defined Sara.

Sara's was a life well lived. She is missed, but her love will live on in the lives that were touched by hers.

A Funeral service will be held at 1 p.m. on Sat., Jan. 7th in Park Place United Methodist Church. The family will receive friends for a visitation and viewing in the Church from 12 to 1:00 p.m. prior to the service. A reception will follow at Norfolk Yacht and Country Club. H. D. Oliver Funeral Apts., Norfolk Chapel is handling arrangements. Online condolences may be made at www.hdoliver.com
Published in The Virginian Pilot on Jan. 5, 2017
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