Joseph Aubrey “Joe” Boyd
Departed in Vero Beach, Florida, on April 19, 2019
Joseph Aubrey “Joe” Boyd passed away peaceful on April 19, 2019, at the age of 98 in Vero Beach, Florida. Dr. Boyd was born on March 25, 1921, in rural Ballard County in Western Kentucky where both he and his late wife, Edith Atkins Boyd, were raised. They were married for almost 72 years from May 13, 1942, until Edith’s passing on March 3, 2014.
Dr. Boyd was the first member of his family to graduate from high school. His pursuit of education in the fields of science and technology resulted in him attaining Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees from the University of Kentucky. In 1948, Joe and Edith moved to Ann Arbor, Michigan, where Joe worked as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Michigan and also pursued his Doctorate degree in Electrical Engineering, which he received in 1952. During the next decade, Dr. Boyd worked as a tenured Professor of Electrical Engineering at UM and also as the Director of the Institute of Science and Technology at the University’s Willow Run Labs.
Dr. Boyd and his family moved from Ann Arbor to the Melbourne area in 1962 when he was recruited by Homer Denius and George Shaw, the founders of Radiation, Inc., to the be the company’s Executive Vice President. In 1963, Dr. Boyd became President of Radiation, and he served in that capacity until the Merger of Radiation into Harris-Intertype Corporation in 1967. Upon the completion of the merger, Dr. Boyd became Executive Vice President of Harris-Intertype and he and Edith divided their time for the next several years between the Melbourne area and Harris’ corporate headquarters in Cleveland, Ohio. In 1972, Dr. Boyd ascended to the position of President of Harris Corporation. In 1978, Dr. Boyd became Chief Executive Officer and Harris’ corporate headquarters were relocated to Melbourne. Dr. Boyd retired as a Harris corporate officer at the age of 65 but continued to serve as a member of its Board of Directors until the age of 72. Dr. Boyd also had a third career on a part-time basis for more than 10 years as an Executive Consultant with Fairchild Space and Defense Corporation in Germantown, Maryland.
Dr. Boyd held many leadership positions during his career, both locally and nationally. He was the first laureate inducted into the Junior Achievement of the Space Coast Business Hall of Fame in 1987; he served on 2 occasions as the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Florida Institute of Technology (first joining in 1963); and he was the Board Chair of Brevard Hospital (now Health First) for many years. Dr. Boyd was involved in many industry and defense organizations, most notably as the Board Chairman of the Air Force Communications and Electronics Association (AFCEA), a leading trade organization for defense/military contractors in Washington, D.C. Dr. Boyd was appointed to the President’s Export Council by Ronald Reagan and served for over 5 years in that capacity. Dr. Boyd was inducted into the University of Kentucky Hall of Distinguished Alumni in 1993.
In addition to his career in higher education and business, Dr. Boyd had many hobbies and activities which he actively pursued. For more than 40 years, Joe and Edith (and their extended family) enjoyed boating throughout Florida, the Bahamas, the East Coast of the United States, and up the Mississippi River to their Kentucky home. Golfing both in Vero Beach and at their vacation home in Hound Ears Club near Boone, North Carolina, was a major activity which both Joe and Edith enjoyed during their retirement years. Joe also enjoyed fly fishing and horseback riding trips to many locations in the Western United States.
Dr. Boyd’s family and their education/careers were very important to Joe and Edith. They are survived by their two sons, Barry Boyd (Debbie), a retired surgeon, and Joel Boyd (Vicky), an estate planning/business attorney, both of whom live locally; five grandchildren, Rachel Belmonte (Joe), Lynne Womack (Brent), Lucy Spalluto (Michael), Mark Boyd (Jessie), and Jenni Boyd; and six great-grandchildren, Will and Emma Belmonte, Baxter Womack, Joey and Anna Spalluto, and Trevor Boyd. Dr. and Mrs. Boyd were very proud that each of their children and grandchildren have attained graduate level degrees in their chosen fields of study.
A memorial service for Dr. Boyd will be held at Suntree United Methodist Church on Saturday, April 27th, at 2 p.m.