Geraldine Boyd

Published 12:00 am Sunday, June 1, 2008

Geraldine Price Boyd

GEORGETOWN, S.C. — Geraldine Price Boyd, the youngest daughter of Isadora Harper and Charles Sumpter Price, was born in Eddy Lake, Horry County, S.C., on Nov. 7, 1909. She died on Thursday at her home on Front Street almost 20 years after her husband, Captain Gillespie Godfrey Boyd, USNR, who died in 1988.

Gillespie Godfrey Boyd grew up as a child in the many towns in South Carolina that his father, the Rev. Charles William Boyd, took him. He attended school in Georgetown and worked for the U.S. Coastal Geodetic Survey for many years. He was in the Georgetown Naval Reserve 4th Fleet Division when World War II broke out and served with distinction in the U.S. Navy during the war. He served three years through 1943 as gunnery officer on USS Guadalupe and served as commanding officer on the USS Nemasket in 1944 and then the USS Chikaskia in 1945 in the Pacific Theater under Admiral Halsey.

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After World War II he worked through various management positions at International Paper Company in Georgetown, Natchez, and Mobile, becoming the Southern Craft Divisions Director of Engineering.

Geraldine’s father first came to Georgetown in 1909 to run the Atlantic Coastal Lumber planing mill and it was then that she began her life long residency in Georgetown, the town she often left but always came back to.

While in the fourth grade she went with her family to Hopewell, Va., where her father worked for a year in an ammunitions factory in support of the effort to win World War I. It was there that they bought the silver punch bowl that was used for decades by family and friends for special occasions including many family wedding receptions.

As a young girl during the Great Depression, she excelled in dance and music. Geraldine, known by her friends as Gerry, had learned to play the piano initially by listening to her older sister, Ernestine Claire. Claire had been enrolled in classes taught by a Professor DeWolf who had come to town and gone door-to-door offering piano lessons. Claire was enrolled, but Gerry was the one who excelled by listening to her sister. Mrs. Ruth Geagan convinced her mother to allow Gerry to take lessons and then transformed her to a musician who knew how to write and read music of any complexity. She finished Winyah High School in 1926 as an accomplished pianist.

She took two years of business at Winyah Business School learning shorthand, typing, and math, graduating in 1928. She worked, during the Depression, for Joe Parrish to earn and save money so that she and Gillespie (Lep) G. Boyd could marry. Their marriage was delayed by the Depression, at least until they could save enough for an apartment. In the meantime, she had begun to teach piano and had become organist for the Prince George Winyah Episcopal Church, a position she had for 14 years.

Her first migration from Georgetown as an adult came in the late 1930s when Lep accepted a job with International Paper Co. in Camden, Ark. They returned in the early 1940s, and again transferred in 1950 when the new paper mill in Natchez was being built, once again leaving lifelong friends. She quickly adapted to the new environment, and as she always did, met additional lifelong friends, became involved with church and garden club activities, and continued her passion of teaching young people to play the piano which she did for a total 25 years. Every one she taught became accomplished at the level they aspired. In the early 1960s they transferred to Mobile, Ala., headquarters of the Southern Craft Division of International Paper Company where Lep had been promoted to director of utilities, maintenance and engineering for the division.

This was followed by a short-term assignment in Cali, Columbia, South America where a new paper mill that used sugar cane as a raw material was being completed and needed Lep’s expertise in order for the mill to be brought online. An accident, resulting in a broken ankle that healed quickly, made him realize that it was a good time to retire, which they did back in Georgetown.

They bought the house on Front Street that had been used as the Pay Master for a local lumber mill. She rejoined, now in person, her life long friends and spent time teaching her grandchildren to play the piano.

Gerald was a member and past president of the Georgetown Garden Club and a member of the Pilgrimage Garden Club in Natchez. When she returned to Georgetown to retire she performed volunteer work for the Chamber of Commerce, Helping Hands and the Red Cross.

She is survived by her seven children; fourteen grandchildren and five great grandchildren. Her children are Gillespie Godfrey Boyd, Jr. of Georgetown, S.C., Geraldine Price Boyd and husband, Duff, both of Merritt Island, Fla., Charles Price Boyd of Atlanta, Samuel Harper Boyd of New Orleans, William Herbert Boyd of Georgetown, Harriet Claire Boyd and husband, Jagger, both of Georgetown, and Isabelle Harper Boyd and husband, Tennant, both of Georgetown. Her grandchildren are Evelyn Boyd Duff and husband, Robinson, both of Houston, Ann Godfrey Duff of Merritt Island, Elizabeth Neal Boyd of Brooklyn, N.Y., Gillespie Godfrey Boyd III of Columbia, S.C., Kathleen Haaf Boyd of New Orleans, Joann Claire Boyd and husband, Sherman, both of Mt. Pleasant, S.C., Frances Ann Boyd of Charleston, S.C., Mary Harper Boyd and husband, Koon, both of Asheville, N.C., William Herbert Boyd Jr. of Charleston, Hopi Boyd Jagger of Odenton, Md., Justus Moth Jagger of Charleston, Eliza James Jagger of Georgetown, Hosanna Lamancusa and husband, Dennelly, both of Brooklyn, and Gloria Hope Tennant of Georgetown; her great-grandchildren are Alexandra Frances Boyd of Columbia, Gabrielle Kathleen Boyd of Columbia, David Aaron Sherman of Mt. Pleasant, Joshua Harper Koon of Asheville, and Isadora Magnolia Dennelly of Brooklyn.

The funeral for Geraldine Price Boyd will be at 3 p.m., Tuesday, June 3, 2008 at the Prince George Winyah Episcopal Church in Georgetown, S.C. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the Prince George Episcopal Church Preservation Trust or to the church’s music fund.

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The Georgetown, S.C. Chapel of Mayer Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.