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Henry Boyd's Full Life Was All About Friendship

Updated: Jun 11, 2020


Henry Boyd with Tom Luckie Jr. and OBGC members Joe Cosmo and Jon Killian.

BY DAVE SHEA

Henry Boyd was a very large and powerful man and his combination of size, strength and touch manifested itself into an outstanding basketball career at the high school an collegiate career in North Carolina.

We went on to be drafted by the Philadelphia 76ers of the NBA and after being the last player cut in a Boston Celtics camp he went on to play professional basketball in Europe for eight years. He joined a touring semi-pro team in Long Beach, Cal. after returning stateside.

His life's journey carried him all over the world and the journey ended on Monday at age 69 in Ocala FL.

He spent a special part of his life in Ogdensburg where he played in local men's basketball league until suffering a broken ankle in a game at the News York State Armory. While being taken to the hospital he showed his fun-loving nature after being asked if he landed on another player's foot.

"Heck no I broke it on the way up," he bellowed with a laugh.

Henry also played in the men's slo-pitch softball league and hammered homeruns of astounding length over the lights of Lions Park. He made many friends, was a treasured umpire by the Ogdensburg Women's Softball League and coached girls youth basketball with Mike Gebo where he showed that his heart superceeded his 6-10 size especially when it came young people.

He became one of many fixture volunteers at the Ogdensburg Boys and Girls Club Expo and his heart will remain in Ogdensburg forever as he will be laid to rest at Notre Dame Cemetery.

"The Ogdensburg Boys and Girls Club would like to extend our sympathy to the family of Henry Boyd. For many years Henry was a fixture at Expo and was affectionately known to club staff as the King of the Grab Bags. He would volunteer all weekend to help the club and even when he moved to Malone would still come back and help. He also had his yearly customers for raffle tickets as well. We will miss the big smile, the great basketball stories and the heart of gold. Donations may be made in Henry’s memory to the Ogdensburg Boys and Girls Club, PO BOX 555, Ogdensburg, NY 13669.

Said Kevin LaRue on his facebook page.

"If you've lived in Ogdensburg over the last 30 years, you've more than likely come across Henry Boyd. 40 years ago and earlier, Ogdensburg was always 99.9% white town. Things have changed over the years, but no matter the year, you would be blind if you didn't spot Henry Boyd. He was a huge hulking man compared to the average population here. A stranger might see him and first think they'd hate to get on that guy's bad side but I don't think Henry had one. Henry Boyd was one of the friendliest guys in the city at work and elsewhere. Did someone hold the door for you at the supermarket? It was probably Henry. Did someone give you an impromptu palm reading? It was Henry. Henry greeted you with the same enthusiasm that he would if he knew you already. . RIP giant Henry Boyd!


OBITUARY OF HENRY JAMES BOYD

Private Funeral Services for Henry James Boyd, Sr., age 69, of Ocala, FL and formerly of Ogdensburg, NY, will be held at the convenience of the family. Burial will be in Notre Dame Cemetery. Arrangements are under the care and direction of Frary Funeral Home, Ogdensburg. Mr. Boyd passed away on Monday, June 8, 2020, in Ocala, FL. Henry is survived by his wife, Kathryn (Kim) Boyd of Ocala, FL; two daughters, Jodi Harper and Rebecca Boyd, both of Ogdensburg, NY; step-sons, Emerson Marshall of Kuwait and Kendall Marshall of Buffalo, NY; his four children, Henry Boyd Jr, Eric Boyd, and Angela Lawson of North Carolina and Alesia Boyd of South Carolina. Henry had many grandchildren. Justin Bradley, North Carolina and Madelyn Jean Boyd, Ogdensburg were the last he got to spend time with. Henry is also survived by his sisters, Betty (Walter) Jones of North Carolina, Mary Louise Boyd of North Carolina, and Vernell Gadson of Maryland; sister in law, Mary Ashford of South Carolina, brother in law, Willie Gadson of North Carolina, a brother in Law, Tom Douglas of Ogdensburg, NY, a sister in law, Hassie (Donnie) McCarney of Ogdensburg, NY and sister in law, Carrie (Bob) Pratt of Massena, NY. Henry had many nieces and nephews, to name a few – A special niece, Lillian Mickle of South Carolina, Douglas McCarney and his companion, Kristina Barton, Patrick McCarney, Katelyn McCarney, and Nathan McCarney, Robert Pratt II and James Pratt, Alyssa Douglas, as well as great nephews, Jacob Lafave and Alexander McCarney and two great nieces, Haile Pratt and Kayla McCarney who all had a special place in his heart.

He is also survived by his good friends Michael Gebo and Howard Thompson, as well as Sarah Duvall, who he loved like a daughter. He is predeceased by four sisters and two brothers. Henry was born on December 3, 1950, in Winnsboro, South Carolina the son of Johnny Boyd Jr. and Mary Jane Pearson. He graduated from McCrorey-Liston High School in 1969 where he led his high school basketball team to three State Championship appearances from 1966 to winning the title in 1969. Henry earned a four-year athletic scholarship to Catawba College in Salisbury, North Carolina where he graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree. Henry achieved an impressive basketball career, with two All-American team selections, earning him a feature in a 1973 issue of Sports Illustrated.

Mr. Boyd was also selected in the American Basketball Association Draft by the Philadelphia 76ers. In 1974, Henry was recruited by the National Association of International Basketball for a team out of Paris, France where he played competitively for eight years.

He later returned to the United States in 1982 and was picked up by a semi-pro Show Ball team from Long Beach, CA. Mr. Boyd later moved to Ogdensburg, NY, and married Debbie J. (Douglas) Harper on October 5, 1984, at City Hall, with Judge George Silver officiating.

She predeceased him on April 11, 2010. Henry worked for a time at the local P&C Grocery store. In 1993, Mr. Boyd began coaching with Mike Gebo for area youth basketball. Henry married Kathryn (Kim) Marshall on July 26th, 2014, at Centenary United Methodist Church in Malone, NY with Rev. Billy Bond officiating. Henry enjoyed umpiring women's softball, talking on the phone, visiting with friends and family, traveling with Kim, and spending time with his dogs Scarlet and Oreo.

Donations may be made in Henry’s memory to the Ogdensburg Boys and Girls Club, PO BOX 555, Ogdensburg, NY 13669. A live stream of the funeral services will be made available on our website.

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