Eugene “Gene” Boyd, of Leesburg, Fla., died July 3, at home after a long illness. He would have been 79 years old the next day, the Fourth of July. A Celebration of His Life will be held on September 7th, at 6pm at the Isle of Hope Marina in Savannah, GA. Gene is survived by his wife, Kami Smith, daughters: Christine Martha Shafer and Johanna Virginia Davis, and stepdaughter, Jessica Renee Smith, their spouses and partner, Alan Shafer, James (Jim) Davis, and Matthew Stersic and two grandchildren, Justin Boyd Shafer and Abigail Grace Davis. Gene was the eldest of four, his surviving siblings include: Ann Boyd Taylor, Mary Boyd Ettinger, married to Mark Ettinger and Martin Govan Boyd, married to Dianne Boyd.

He was born in Winter Haven, Florida and grew up in Leesburg, Florida. Gene graduated from Leesburg HIgh School and attended the Citadel in South Carolina for one year. He then transferred to the University of Florida, where he received a degree in Mechanical Engineering. While at UF, Gene worked as an Intern at the Space Center in Florida and in Huntsville, Alabama. After graduation he went to work with Lockhead Martin in Atlanta, Georgia. While at Lockheed he pursued an MBA at Georgia State. He then went to work in Finance for various companies and firms around the southeast. In the 80’s Gene retired from GTEDS in Tampa, Florida and became partners with his brother, Martin. Together they were involved with many real estate ventures, including an orange grove in Winter Haven.

Gene’s real love was the sea; and by the time he was in his 40’s he was captaining and racing sailboats; in the Bahamas, across the Atlantic to Bermuda, and in the Gulf of Mexico. He crewed on friends’ boats, racing from Miami to Montego Bay, Jamaica and from Newport, RI. to Bermuda. When he was in his late 50’s he pursed a license to crew on commercial boat deliveries; down the Mississippi to Alabama. Another delivery ran across the Caribbean to French Guyana. He lived and breathed the ocean, when not racing himself, he served on many race committees, both regional and national. He was a member of the North East Florida Sailing Association,the Beaufort Yacht and Sailing Club and the Chatham Yacht Club of Savannah ,and a former member St Petersburg Yacht club.

Always an adventurer, at 62, Gene took up flying. He went on to get his General Aviation license and his IFR, eventually, out west, he received a license to fly seaplanes. He went about flying as he did sailing, ever enthusiastic, he was always up for the next trip. He was a partner in three planes and he and his partners were always in the air.

In 2008 he and his wife decided to move to Savannah, Georgia. After so many years, Gene was able to put his engineering skills to good use; as the general contractor on the restoration of their 125 year old Victorian, in the Thomas Square neighborhood. For over a year, while living their boat at the Isle Hope Marina, Gene meticulously restored the house on 36th street back to its historic splendor.

Everywhere he lived, Gene found a community. In Savannah he and Kami were members of Christ Church and enjoyed the architectural beauty of their adopted city, as well as the charm of their neighbors and friends. They particularly enjoyed the yearly Savannah Music Festival and the SCAD Film Festival.

When he joined the Savannah Triathlon Team,he became a regular fixture in the weekly river swims. His time at the Chatham Sailing Club was involved with racing the HH Hannah up and down the Wilmington river. In the past years, Gene decided to take up small boat racing, learning to maneuver a Scow in the tidal low country waters and taking an active role in the Beaufort Sail and Yacht Club’s events.

He will be missed by all his family, his friends, and neighbors. He was a quiet man, full of good humor, who lived a full and adventurous life.

The family wishes that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to Savannah Hospice.

Please sign our online guestbook at Savannah Morning News July 28, 2019

Posted in: Savannah Morning News

Posted on: 2019-07-29

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