Gerald D. (Jerry) Boynton died at 4:10 a.m., Friday, June 28, 2019, at his home on the Boynton family farm in Pulaski Township, Ohio. He was 82.
Gerald D. Boynton was born in Bryan, Ohio, Sept. 17, 1936, the elder son of Hubert and Dorothy Mae (Sackrider) Boynton. He was raised on the family farm and graduated from Bryan High School in 1954. In 1958 he earned a bachelor’s degree in geology from Michigan State University, and participated in ROTC. He was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force, then earned a certificate in meteorology at St. Louis University (1959). Assigned to Royal Air Force Base Mildenhall, England, he met Anne Marie Wheller, whom he married July 29, 1961, at Caterham, Surrey. Together they had four children while Jerry served assignments in Spain and around the U.S. He also earned a master’s degree in geophysics, again from St. Louis University. He served one year as director of the Weather Station at Cam Ranh Bay, Vietnam. His last military assignment was at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska, where he led engineers developing software for the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program. He served 21½ years and retired in 1979 with the rank of major.
After his military retirement, Jerry worked for Harris Corp, Bellevue, Nebraska, for 20 years. After meeting her on a blind date, he married Patricia Rowlands, Aug. 29, 1981, in Bellevue, Nebraska. Jerry and Pat moved to Pulaski in 1999, building a home on the family farm, and caring for his elderly father. He worked 12 years as buggy driver for Sauder Village and was known by riders for stories he told about the Great Black Swamp and the growth of agriculture in northwest Ohio. He served as zoning chair for Pulaski Township, vice president of the Williams County Community Concert Association and was an active member of St. Patrick Church. He enjoyed jigsaw puzzles, working outdoors whenever possible and playing golf with other seniors at Riverside Golf Course in Stryker. He enjoyed college sports, flying the flag for Michigan State and Nebraska, where three of his children graduated. Just before his death he was accepted into the Williams County First Families as a direct descendant of Alpheus and Charles JC Boynton, who came to Bryan in 1841 and started the family farm in 1846. Gerald was the fifth-generation owner of the farm, which was awarded Sesquicentennial (150 years) status in 2016. Son Paul will maintain the family farm as the sixth-generation owner.
Family events gave him great joy, especially the July 4th family gatherings at Lake Rabun, Georgia, and his eldest grandson’s recent wedding in North Carolina. He never wanted to be left out of family times, even during his final illness when not feeling well.
Gerald was preceded in death by his parents; his first wife, Anne Wheller Boynton; brother, Douglas Boynton; and sister, Janet Boynton Kravatz. He is survived by Patricia, his wife of 38 years; two sons, Paul (Shelly) of Jacksonville, Florida, and John (Michelle) of Nashville, Tennessee; two daughters, Susan (Bayard) Closser of Decatur, Illinois, and Linda (Jeffrey) Wade of Mason, Ohio; 11 grandchildren, Mitchell (Morgan) Closser, Cole Closser, Anna Closser, Nathan Boynton, John R. Boynton, Michael Boynton, Olivia Wade, Charlie Wade, Jack Boynton, Will Boynton and Molly Boynton. Also surviving are his sister, Kay Boynton Takeuchi of Lodi, California; nieces and nephews; and many whose friendship he valued. His beloved springer spaniel, Cocoa, misses him already. Our hearts are broken as we face the future without this upright and gentle man whom we loved so much and who loved all of us.
Visitation will be from 2-7 p.m. Friday, July 5, 2019, at the Oberlin-Turnbull Funeral Home and Crematory, 206 N. Lynn St. Scripture service will follow, in the funeral home at 7 p.m. The mass celebrating the life of Gerald Boynton will take place at 10:30 a.m., Saturday, July 6, 2019, at St. Patrick Church, 610 S. Portland St., Bryan, Ohio, with Father Charles Ritter and Father David Tscherne officiating. Burial with military honors will take place at Shiffler Cemetery immediately after the mass, followed by a luncheon at the church.
The family extends their deep appreciation to the staff of the Melanoma Clinic at the Hillman Cancer Center, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and to all who cared for him during his last illness. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to AIM@Melanoma, 5729 Lebanon Road, Suite 144-305, Frisco, TX 75034; Sauder Village, 22611 Ohio 2, Archbold, OH 43502; or St. Patrick Church Capital Campaign, 610 S. Portland St., Bryan, OH 43506.
Condolences may be sent to the family or memories may be shared at www.oberlinturnbull.com.