onald Dean Boyd passed away on Nov. 18, 2019 in the place he loved most, his home. Don was born on Sept. 6, 1930, the baby of 13 children born to parents Melvin and Ethyl Boyd in their Chapman home.

He attended school in Chapman and lived in several local homes growing up. Knowing that he would be drafted, he joined the Army with three of his best friends. This allowed these small town boys to attend basic training together.

He served during the Korean War and years later enjoyed watching daily reruns of MASH, comparing/contrasting his stay to the comedy-drama television series.

Following his release from active duty, he returned to his home town of Chapman, Kansas.

In 1959 he married Barbara Jean Meyer. They built a home in Chapman, borrowing what felt like an enormous amount of money, $12,000. Don always smiled when he talked about breaking ground on his home. His brothers came to town with backhoes and started digging with no plans or building permits.

Don and Barbara worked on their home each evening after work, moving into the basement while they continued to build the main level over the next year. Don and Barbara continued to live in this home for the next 60 years, having two children, Greg and Mary.

Don’s first business venture was the ownership of a Speed Queen coin operated laundromat which remained open for more than 30 years while simultaneously working as a machinist at Ersham’s in Enterprise. After more than 25 years with Ersham’s, Don retired and become self-employed, purchasing and remodeling the Carroll Brother’s Clothing Store and giving it the name Boyd’s Work and Play Clothes.

Neither Don nor Barbara knew anything about retail business but quickly learned and established accounts with Levis, Red Wing, Nike and Big Smith to name a few. They operated this business for more than 40 years providing services and merchandise to the community.

The Boyds put many letter jackets, tennis shoes and tuxedoes on the Fighting Irish over the years. Don retired again in early 2019, closing the store, liquidating inventory and selling the building.

Don believed his large family and relationship with his brothers and sisters was a true treasure. He particularly enjoyed the Boyd family gatherings where nearly all of his brothers, sisters and their families would gather for lunch every Sunday, a tradition that lasted for many years.

He remembered his family filling the dance hall at the American Legion on Saturday evenings and mountains of fried rabbit at lunch after a big hunt with his brothers. There were also stories about hitchhiking to Abilene as a child as young as 10 to go swimming, possibly stopping for a sandwich on the way if he had an extra dime.

His family remembers him for his quick wit and sense of humor. Don liked to watch the news, staying up to date on approaching weather, watching multiple episodes of Big Bang and other comedy shows.

He was fascinated by technology and nearly every morning began with a trivia question or asking about some unknown bit of information, followed by “just ask your phone.”

He enjoyed fishing, at both the Smoky Hill River and Milford Lake on a regular basis.

With most of Don’s building projects he had no help and developed the ability to move massive items on his own with a simple pipe or two.

Don was many things but a traveler he was not, content to stay within a 30 mile radius from home. He was also never a fan of doctors, hospitals or nursing homes and believed a twisted ankle, strained back or any non-open injury could be healed with a simple splash of turpentine.

Don was preceded in death by all of his siblings as well as his wife.

He wished to have a simple military service which will take place at 11 a.m. on Nov. 22 at Indian Hill Cemetery, Chapman, Kansas. Memorials can be made to Dickinson County Home Health and Hospice or Chapman Senior Center.

Contact Tim Horan at editor@abilene-rc.com.

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