Helen Boyd, age 92, longtime resident of LeBoeuf Township, passed away on Wednesday September 11, 2019 surrounded by her loving family and the exemplary care from UPMC Home Health and Family Hospice.
Born in Sandy Lake, PA on August 20th, 1927, Helen was the daughter of Mr. Donald Porter and later in life the step-daughter of Mrs. Esther Porter with whom she was very close. Throughout her long life, Helen’s unique ability to overcome difficult circumstances with a combination of toughness and grace served as an inspiration to all who knew her. In 1937 at only four years of age, Helen was locked in a closet alone and abandoned by her mother. With her father seeking work out west, Helen was left to be raised by her two paternal uncles Ernest and Peter Porter and her grandmother Addie Porter. While times were tough, Helen didn’t let them define her and, in fact, held fond memories of her childhood including ordering a brand new radio from the Sears catalog, a beautiful doll at Christmas, and her dog Tippy, her constant companion.
During her high school years, she moved to Mill Village and graduated from Edinboro High School in 1943. Here she met Clarence Boyd, her husband of 65 years. The two were married on March 12, 1946, celebrating with a cake courtesy of ration stamps from her sister-in-law Charlotte (Boyd) Brown, and in 1948 welcomed a son Donald James. Clarence and Helen made their home at the Boyd Homestead farm where they proudly hosted many visiting relatives from across the U.S., Ireland and Australia.
Helen was a devoted member of New Ireland United Methodist Church and served with the UMC Ladies Aid Society on the memorial and missionary committees and often hosted the Christmas Luncheon at her home. Helen loved to travel and enjoyed many trips to Florida and the New England States, however her trip with Clarence to the Boyd homestead in Northern Ireland was perhaps her favorite. She was an animal lover and her family referred to her as “the cat whisperer” because of her ability to take any feral barn cat and turn them into a docile pet.
If you would have visited Helen at lunch time you were guaranteed to find her enjoying a glass of iced tea with Paul Harvey on in the background. Most evenings were spent with a bowl of popcorn watching Family Feud. She enjoyed decorating and shopping at Christmastime with her daughter-in-law and granddaughters with a quick stop for a bite to eat at the Tic Toc Room at Kaufmann’s or the Liberty Plaza Restaurant. Her even keeled nature made her the go-to family member when it came time to teach her granddaughters to drive which she successfully did in her huge Oldsmobile Delta 88.
Weekends would be spent getting her hair done at Carol Haskins salon and taking a drive to see the leaves after church. She cherished her friendships and graciously appreciated any kindness and support including the numerous Subway sandwich deliveries and check-ins from Tony. In her most recent years she was blessed to have the love and skillful care of her own special nurse, her granddaughter Kelly. With the added help of her great grandchildren, Helen continued to enjoy many years filled with lots of laughter and lots of bagel bites.
Helen was preceded in death by her husband Clarence and an infant son, David Boyd.
Survivors include her son Donald and daughter-in-law Wanda Boyd; two granddaughters- Stephanie Boyd of Waterford, and Kelly (Andrew) Dinsmore of Mill Village, and adopted grandson Anthony LaPaglia of Waterford; a nephew John (Roberta) Boyd of Dunedin, FL; and great- grandchildren Cassidy, Ellie, A.J. Emma, Alaina, Morgan and Quinn.
Friends may call at the New Ireland United Methodist Church located at 4999 Rt. 6, Union City PA, 16438 for visiting hours and wake on Monday, September 16, 2019 from 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. with funeral services officiated by Rev. Jim Fish immediately following. Interment will take place Tuesday, September 17, 2019 at the Waterford Cemetery, Waterford, PA at 10:00 a.m.