There will be no funeral services due to Covid restrictions. This is her obituary and eulogy combined so we can share her story. Thank you to everyone for their love and support.
Toshiko Boyd, age 89, of Irvine, CA, passed away peacefully on November 19, 2020, from lung cancer with her family at her bedside.
She was a loving mother, who is survived by her daughter Gloria (Michael) Dula and son Dale (Karen) Boyd, and was a dear grandmother to Justin, Cortney (Michael) and Linnea. She was the beloved wife of Gerald Boyd, who passed away in 1993, and sister to Yuko Toya (predeceased). She is survived by brothers Muneo (Tomoko) Ishida and Kunio Ishida, and their families; Yuko Toya’s family; and sister in-law Laura (Rich) Otten and their family Sam (Amanda) Otten; and brother-in-law Bob (Pat) Boyd and their family. She was loved dearly and will be missed by all her relatives and friends.
She married Gerald Boyd on March 27, 1953, leaving Sapporo, Japan, to reside in Michigan and raise their family. She then started a new life adventure in 1995, moving to California. Breaking with traditions, she always showed her independent spirit.
Her adventures spanned the globe: From early in life in Sapporo, climbing out her home’s window to snowshoe to school, sitting with the fishermen at water’s edge, climbing the trees in the many family orchards, to meeting her husband and leaving Japan for the trek to the US. Settling in Michigan, she studied and became a hairstylist to the Grosse Pointe clients that loved her dearly, with their invitations to the symphony, afternoon tea, and so many kind gifts. Musically talented as well, she played the koto, the exotic 13 string Japanese instrument, for pleasure, and on special occasions, played for the local cultural center. And stylish, oh my! Between her most excellent taste and seamstress skills, she was always the best-dressed anywhere we went.
Toshi’s love of art brought her joy throughout her life. She convinced her children to tag along for visits to the Detroit Institute of Arts, by promising custard in Kresge Court (it looked so much bigger then), teaching us all about Renoir, Cezanne, Degas, and her many favorite impressionists. After moving to California, she traveled the world, photographing, sketching, and painting across Italy, France, Austria, Holland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Greece, China, and more. Sharing art with family, she taught her granddaughter Linnea to paint from the time she could barely hold a brush, and they shared their love of art over the years. She also hiked the rainforests in Costa Rica in search of the white-faced monkeys and toucans. She “birded” up and down the west coast, camping and meeting new friends. Although she considered herself an introvert, her beautiful soul drew so many into her circle of friends.
As a proud fitness enthusiast her entire life, our earliest family fitness memories are of running, running, running and family participated in her 17 straight Dodge Park 3-mile Runs. Toshi eventually ran the Detroit Free Press International Marathon, while her family cheered her on. The family also played tennis together, leading to her son Dale’s exceptional talent taking him across the country playing tennis for the Air Force, who still plays and competes at his local tennis club; she was so proud of her children and in so many ways. Toshi also found classes (and many friends) for every fitness routine: kickboxing, Latin dance, Zumba, and in later years, she discovered yoga, Tai Chi, and so much more. The children that came to know her said she was the “coolest grandma” ever, as she even danced the night away at her granddaughter Cortney’s November 2019 wedding!
Always at the ready to let the games begin! Not only in sports, but also word games. She was a formidable foe at any game of Scrabble or Boggle, even with English being her second language. Her competitive spirit led to her “reading” the Scrabble dictionary for those elusive words that would take her to the pink triple score, seven-letter word to win yet another game. She was the Champion – in so many ways!
Toshiko had so many interests throughout her life that brought joy into her life, and she shared that joy with so many. She was an inspiration to all of us who recognized her “living life to the fullest.” She will be loved always and dearly missed.