In the early afternoon of January 8, 2021, Donald Boyd Jr. passed away as a result of complications related to COVID-19. Don, known as Donny to his Massachusetts relatives, was born in Fitchburg, MA on August 10, 1942, but he found his calling in 1965 when he joined the Peace Corps and headed to Northeast Brazil. Following their graduation from University of Massachusetts, Amherst, where Don graduated cum laude with senior honors, Don and his then wife Wendy Hall Bourgeois volunteered their service in the area of community development and health. However, Don’s commitment to the Peace Corps was ended prematurely by the births of his twin daughters Tania Boyd Blow and Diana Boyd De Nitto.
Once back state side, Don completed his master’s degree in political science at the University of Wisconsin as a Ford and National Defense Foreign Language Fellow, and then took a position at Clinton Community College in Plattsburgh, NY. From 1970 to 1976, Don taught classes in local, state, national government and Latin American history. This time was punctuated in 1972 by the birth of Don’s only son, Donald Nicoll Boyd. His birth was celebrate in typical 70s fashion with the purchase of a gold Buick station wagon.
From 1977 to 2004 Don heeded his calling — he entered the Foreign Service and joined the Agency for International Development (US AID). Between 1978 and 2004 Don worked in the eastern Caribbean, El Salvador, Guatemala, Peru and Washington D.C. During this time he rose to the ranks of Director and Deputy Mission Director in Peru, and Director, Office of Central American Affairs in Washington, D.C. A highpoint in his career was a 1999 Presidential Meritorious Service Award for “sustained superior accomplishment in the conduct of the foreign policy of the United States Government.”
In 1985, Don married Liliana Dutriz Boyd whom he met while serving in El Salvador. While state side in Alexandria, Virginia in 1989, they welcomed the birth of their daughter Chelsea Boyd Lumsden. Later in Lima, Peru in 1995, Don, Liliana, and Chelsea greeted the birth of Bonnie Boyd. Don and Bonnie had a special bond and loyalty. They would affectionately call to each other, “cuckoo” and enjoyed passing weekends together.
In retirement Don worked in mediation, but his real joy was his garden (he never met a pepper, lettuce seed, or bulb he didn’t want to buy), and certainly his grandchildren. Don is survived by his grandchildren: Kirsti and Sarah Blow of Queensbury, NY; Aidan and Mia Boyd of Williamsville, NY; Marcella and Emerson De Nitto of Wolfeboro, NH, and Julian Lumsden of Newnan, GA. Don’s children include Don Boyd and his wife Ann, Tania Blow and her husband Dave, Diana De Nitto and her husband Mark, Chelsea Lumsden and her husband Shawn, and Bonnie Boyd. Don is also survived by his brother Richard Boyd and his wife Rosie of Key West Florida.
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