Ben R. Boyd Sr., husband of the late Corine B. (Treat) Boyd, passed away peacefully at 3:55am on August 7th, 2012 at the Hospice of the Hills in Harrison, Arkansas. His daughter Teresa and his son-in-law Tom were with him at the time.
Ben was born on March 8th, 1928 to the late Mary and Elmer Boyd of Big Flat, Arkansas. Although born at the beginning of the Great Depression, Ben never failed to grasp happiness and opportunity from the clutches of despair. Some say that hard times necessitate hard hearts, but those people apparently never met, Ben. From the time he could walk, Ben cherished nature and longed for adventure; but above all else Ben valued love. Genuine love for his wife, his children, his grandchildren, his great grandchildren, his friends and his fellow man. His special, honest brand of love ruled his behavior and helped cultivate his infectiously positive outlook on life. The daily hardships he was forced to endure throughout his youth were indeed difficult to cope with, but Ben spent the rest of his life proving that unconditional love was all one needed to not only survive hardships, but to courageously attack them. The strong morals, standards and values that served Ben for a lifetime were learned from men and women of character and integrity who not only lived through our nation’s most difficult financial era, they even managed to carve out a little happiness and love for each other along the way.
Ben’s adolescent years were spent exploring the woods and forests of northern Arkansas in his never ending search for adventure. As was so common during the depression era his formal education ended early. Midway through the eighth grade he was forced by necessity to quit school and help his father and older brothers earn a living. He worked various jobs including: a glass factory employee, tomato harvester and worked as a crosscut sawyer in the timber industry before joining the United States Army in 1948.
Ben began his military career as an army infantry private, but within five years he had risen to the rank of First Sergeant and was in charge of well over one hundred soldiers. With no hope of further promotions and with 15 years left before he could retire, he became dissatisfied with the opportunities offered by the army and elected to return to civilian life. But with no specialized civilian training and experiencing a severe lack of adventure working at a factory job, he decided that the army’s opportunities were far better than those offered by the corporate world. So, within a few months of trying out civilian life, Ben rejoined the army. It was a well-known fact to soldiers in his company that Ben was a fine shot and in 1957 he tried out for, and won, an All-Army Marksmanship Team sharp-shooting position. Until his retirement from the army in 1969 he served in a variety of specialized marksmanship shooting units as both a competitor and as the team’s coach. Throughout his career he accumulated in excess of 50 marksmanship trophies, and several other military awards and decorations as an army infantryman.
He married the late Corine B. (Treat) Boyd of Leslie Arkansas on September 30th, 1951 in a military chapel. In 1953 Patricia was added to the family and in 1957 their second daughter Teresa was born. Ben Jr. was born into the family in 1962. Ben’s hobbies included hunting, fishing and relaxing with Corine when she was able to join him. He was also a scratch handicap golfer and had won several amateur golfing tournaments; to include two when paired with Ben Jr. as his partner. He loved playing golf when he was able, but he also enjoyed talking about golf; especially with his all-time favorite golfer: Stephen Boyd.
He was somewhat prone to boredom and had several jobs since “retiring” from the army. They included; bank security guard, automotive vocational instructor, law enforcement dispatcher jailer, owner/operator of a gun repair shop, owner/operator of a vehicle repair shop, Justice of the Peace, machinist, Searcy County Veterans Service Officer, and was the author of the autobiographical book, “Jake The Woodsman”. He was very proud that he had developed and practiced his own individual Bible-based brand of Christianity and loved God with all his heart and soul. He had a very personal relationship with his Savior, Jesus Christ, and that relationship allowed him to pass from this world into God’s arms without fear or reservation. His long life was a wealth of experiences and Ben passed from this world, leaving it a much better place than he found it.
Ben Boyd Sr. was 84 years old at his death and was preceded in death by his wife Corine (Treat) Boyd and one granddaughter, Brooke Ashley Boyd. He is survived by his two daughters; Patricia (Boyd) Baumler, and Teresa (Boyd) Knappenberger, his son Ben Boyd Jr., his Daughter-In-Law, Bobbi D. Boyd and his two Sons-In-Law: Ernst Baumler, and Thomas Knappenberger. Nine grandchildren and five great grandchildren also survive him.
At Ben’s request, no formal memorial service will be held, but the family would appreciate any donations you feel compelled to make be made to: American Legion Riders 100 Legion Lane Batesville, AR, 72501 Attention: Randy Morrison Should you decide to make a donation in his name, please add a note stating something to the effect of: Please accept this donation in the loving memory of Ben R Boyd Sr. to be dispersed as your organization believes Ben would have wanted.