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Life Story / Obituary
Although his life came to an end much too quickly, Eddie Boyd made a significant impact in the lives of everyone he met. He was outgoing, approachable, and the sort of person who never met a stranger with a contagious zest for life, too. Eddie was willing to work hard in whatever he did, but he also knew how to play hard, and he wasn’t afraid to do things his own way. The rock of his family, he was deeply devoted to his loved ones in any and every way he could. Selfless beyond measure, Eddie was the kind of person who would do whatever he could for anyone. Although life will never be the same without him here, he leaves behind a priceless collection of memories that his friends and family will forever treasure.
The 1960s were an exciting time in American history. We elected the young John F. Kennedy as our 35th President of the United States, only to mourn his death just a short time later. Civil rights were among the struggles of the time, but it was the United States who won the space race with the Soviet Union as we put the first man on the moon. Amidst this eventful time was the year 1962 when Robert and Joyce (Boatwright) Boyd were pleased to announce the birth of the baby boy they named Eddie Bernett on September 24th. He was one of six children in the Boyd family and was raised in the family home in Lawton, Michigan, alongside his siblings, Yvonne, Maurice, Gloria, Robert Jr., and Steven.
In many ways, Eddie was a young boy of his generation. His father owned a small engine repair business called Pit Stop Small Engines, located in Lawton, while his mother was an amazing woman who primarily focused her attention at home. At a young age, Eddie learned the value of hard work as they had a farm, and he also helped out at his father’s shop. He was a natural at it and was always fixing something whether snowmobiles, tractors, or something in between. Eddie went to local schools including Paw Paw High School where he broke the record for the 100 meter dash. In fact, that record still stands to this day! He went on to graduate from high school in 1980.
After graduating from high school, Eddie enlisted in the Army. He spent some time stationed in Germany and also actively served in Desert Storm. While in the military, Eddie was a tank mechanic who rose to the rank of sergeant, and when his active duties were fulfilled he served in the National Guard, earning his 20 years and retiring in 2001. Over the years he was very active with the DAV, volunteering for anything and everything he could do to be of help. Eddie also made a career with the United States Post Office, working in Oshtemo as the maintenance craft director for 20 years before retiring.
Life was forever changed for Eddie when he met the woman of his dreams. Her name was Tonya Sharpsteen, and they met in the early nineties. Initially they were friends, but they later began dating and found themselves deeply in love. Their love story spanned 20 years, and on January 29, 2010, they were married. Eddie and Tonya were true companions who loved being together. They shared a love for fishing and were fishing buddies. The pair often fished in Fennville and primarily fished for catfish, but they were up for fishing anywhere and liked fishing for blue gill and bass as well. Eddie and Tonya both loved the act of fishing, but they also just loved being out there in the peace and quiet. Most times, they just fished to catch and release, which really is such an amazing illustration of Eddie’s tender and caring personality as he didn’t even want to harm the fish population. He and Tonya were nature lovers who also enjoyed camping. Their camping adventures took them all over, and they also went up to their cabin in Fountain and spent a lot of time camping in the Upper Peninsula.
Throughout his rich and rewarding life, Eddie was a man of many interests. He enjoyed keeping busy by putting his handyman skills to work. Eddie especially loved the challenge of fixing something that someone else had thrown away. He was into sci-fi movies, oldies like songs from the Temptations, and riding his 1961 Harley-Davidson. This was particularly special to him because it was from his father. Eddie wasn’t a picky eater, but he was partial to his mother’s cooking as everything she made was just the best in his book. It really was all about people to Eddie.
All who knew Eddie Boyd would agree that he was the heartbeat of wherever he went. He was vibrant and fun loving with an infectious sense of humor that made him so much fun to be around. The glue that held his family together, Eddie was the best husband, father, and uncle that anyone could ever ask for. Friendly, outgoing, and loyal, a friend of his was a friend for life. Although he will be deeply missed, Eddie will never be forgotten.
Eddie Bernett Boyd, of Kalamazoo, died November 7, 2015, in Kalamazoo. Eddie’s family includes his wife, Tonya Sharpsteen Boyd; 2 daughters: Fayonna (17) and Jaysha (5); 5 siblings: Yvonne Sheppard, Maurice (Bonita) Boyd, Gloria Boyd, Robert Jr. (Alisa) Boyd, and Steven (Melissa) Moore; and many nieces and nephews. Eddie was preceded in death by his parents. Visit with family and friends on Tuesday from 5 – 8 p.m. at the Life Story Funeral Home, Betzler & Thompson-Paw Paw, 60900 M-40; 657-3870 where services will be held Wednesday at 1 p.m. Burial will take place at Oak Grove Cemetery, Lawton. Please visit Eddie’s personal web page at www.lifestorynet.com, where you can archive a favorite memory or photo and sign his online guestbook. Memorial contributions may be made to the Disabled American Veterans.