Carol Joyce Boyd gave unconditional love and caring to those that she touched in this world. She gave without expectation of anything in return leading an extraordinary life of courage. Her unrelenting generosity was so sincere and pure that her single acts of kindness changed lives forever.
Carol came to us on Dec. 4, 1932, when she was born in Stevensville to William and Justine Boyd.
On Sunday, Sept. 19, 2016, she died peacefully with her family by her side. She left this world to join those in her friends and family that passed before her. She will forever watch over us with love until we too join her to fulfill our journey together. We know that she leaves us with a heavy heart but we know she is excited to see her parents, siblings, friends, son Tony and others that have passed before her. What a wonderful visit they must all be having now.
At the age of 83 Carol was still working the land that her family had worked at the turn of the century. Each day she rose to tend to her livestock. She did this with the grit and toughness one would expect from her. It is no surprise to any that knew her that she worked the land up to her last day on this earth. She had a work ethic that was incomparable. She had a love for the land that was contagious. It is this love for so many things that made her so dear to so many.
Her grace was subtle and dignified. It was never deliberate or thought out. It was pure and a part of her. She was unimpressed by the accumulation of things. She judged only by merit and heart and your willingness to try. She loved those so dearly that were a part of her life cherishing every moment. She wore this cherishment on her sleeve. All that knew her knew for certain that they would be taken care of if they simply asked. Her love was unrelenting.
You could count on many things from Carol. One of them is being aware of where she stands on an idea. She was raised to be strong, compassionate, confident and direct. This is a quality that she passed down to her family. It is in many ways a part of her legacy.
Oh how Carol loved to tell you about her horses, children, siblings and family. She did it in a way with a smile that made you want to stay and listen for more. If you were to strike up a conversation with her you would be immediately at ease. Whether you had known her your entire life or for only a few minutes you felt like you were in the right place, a place of comfort and home.
She always knew that spreading kindness, helping others and helping those that were disadvantaged was one of her purposes in life. She carried this kindness across all medians of life.
Gratitude encompasses Carol. She had an inner peace that few achieve in their lifetime. She did not desire things or items in her life. What she desired was to help others, preserve her family’s heritage and improve the lives of others while protecting the land she so cherished.
Her whit was lightning sharp. A conversation with her left you wanting more. Carol was independent and inspired others to be better. Regardless of your background you were always welcome in her home. She was rich with conversation anytime you had a chance to visit with her. Her knowledge of the land, Montana and the world was vast. Family and friends were dear to her heart. For those that new her and were loved by her we count ourselves as the lucky ones.
Carol loved to learn and started learning at a young age. Her life was full of learning opportunities as a young girl. True to her spirit of helping others she decided to study teaching when she ventured off to college. She went on to finish an undergraduate degree in elementary education at the University of Montana. Then after finishing that she went on to earn a masters in special education from the University of Montana. After finishing up with her education she started teaching in Marion, and went on to teach at other rural schools in the Missoula Valley while tending to her ranch.
After concluding her classroom teaching she transitioned into managing the land and family ranch full time. From the Boyd Ranch up the Blackfoot to the family ranch up Rock Creek and Philipsburg valley she spent the next several decades being an advocate for land. Each year she would move her horses between the Blackfoot and Philipsburg properties for summer range. True to her respect for the land and tradition this was done on horseback with no trailers. The herd was rounded up and moved by the family over the mountains and into the next valley. It was a tradition that would instill memories for generations.
We were all so fortunate to be touched by her love and generosity. We were inspired by her devotion to learning and independence while being spell-bound by her creativity and storytelling. We will carry her in our heart forever and share her spirit with our children, friends and family. Her legacy will live through everyone that she has touched in her life. As each of us are better because of her presence in our life.
Carol is survived by her sister Maridell Bandy; daughters and their spouses, Nina and Bud Benjamin, Betty and Brian Eisenzimer, Ruth and Glen Willig, Helen Dobbins and Carolyn Carter as well as by her sons, Donald Carter, Will Carter and Tim Carter; nieces and nephews Bonnie Sue, Suzy, Linda, Kenny and many beloved grandchildren and great-grandchildren.