Pickering College - Learning For Life. Creating The Future.
Students celebrating United Nations Day

In Memory of Charles F. Boyd

1936 - 2021

Man walking with young students through a forest
Charles holding a fish and smiling
Man with young students looking over a wooden bridge
Man standing on his farm with three horses
Closeup of students learning about plants
Man standing with his horse
Man standing on his farm smiling at camera
Man talking to students on the Blue and Silver Farm
Smiling man sitting in the Meeting Room
Young Charles holding a camera around his neck
Charles standing with an alumnus in the Dining Hall
An old photo of Charles standing with two women on the farm

After 53 years as a teacher, coach, mentor, advisor and alumni ambassador, Mr. Boyd leaves an indelible mark on the lives of nearly 5000 students, alumni and staff. He was a teacher, coach, and advisor to many, while many others quite likely encountered him somewhere in the school – sharing meals in the Dining Hall, enthusiastically responding to talks in Morning Meeting, graciously greeting students as they arrived at Blue & Silver, welcoming new families at the door throughout the year, or reading a "Message to the Graduating Class" at Closing Meeting in June each year.

In 2017, Mr. Boyd was recognized with the Class of 1842 Award for his years of selfless and tireless work at Pickering College. Outside of PC, for over 50 years he served as a Minister at a variety of parishes throughout Ontario and officiated hundreds of weddings and funerals for alumni and friends who valued his kind, compassionate and thoughtful approach. As a horse breeder and thoroughbred enthusiast, he saw the unique role horses and riding could play in benefiting people with disabilities and was chair of the board at CARD – Canadian Association of Riders with Disabilities – for many years. He also helped establish New Leaf Living and Learning – an organization that provides services and community supports to persons with disabilities.

He was one of the kindest, most compassionate, caring and inspiring people any one of us will ever meet. Every year at the Closing Meeting he reminded us that The People are Pickering. In reality, Charles Boyd was the personification of that belief. Just imagine what the world would be like if each of us embodied Mr. Boyd's approach to life – to be infused with his positive spirit and to possess his deep and abiding belief in the goodness in every person. He had a unique and enviable way of making you feel better about yourself, just by having spent a few minutes with him.

Mr. Boyd has been the heart, soul and light of Pickering College for over half a century. While we are saddened by the loss of our dear friend and teacher, we are all so much luckier to have had him in our lives. Charles Boyd upheld the mission and values of Pickering College, with his strength and commitment to make our community greater, better and more beautiful than he discovered it.

We will never forget him.

Celebration of Life

Ceremony program and readings


Cover of Celebration of Life program for Charles F. Boyd

View Program 


Celebration of Life recording

October 2, 2021



Donations in memory of Charles Boyd

If you wish to make a donation in memory of Mr. Charles Boyd, it can be directed to sustaining the school's outdoor education program at his beloved Blue & Silver Farm, which he bequeathed to Pickering College in 2013. 


Memories and tributes to Charles Boyd

Throughout his lifetime, Charles touched the lives of many. Here are some of the hundreds of memories and sentiments shared in the days and weeks following his passing.

“To me, Charles was Pickering. I will never forget - and always be grateful for- the way Charles made me feel welcome when I first arrived at Pickering. At my first Morning Meeting, feeling nervous and uncertain, it was Charles who first spoke from the silence with his usual wisdom and kindness. He demonstrated what I learned to be true: The People are Pickering. He will be greatly missed but I trust that his legacy will live on.” - Martha Perry

"Godspeed, Charles Boyd. I’ll always remember you. You were ever so kind to me during the two years I was at Pickering College in Grade 7 & 8 (1983-1985)." - Omar Hash

“I will never forget our time together at the races. It was our common interest in horse racing that brought us to friendship but it was his kind and genuine interest in my children's (Julia and Thomas') education and potential at PC that hooked my heart for life. He will be dearly and deeply missed but never forgotten.” - Christina Bianco

"Charles, I’ll never forget your kindness from the day I started at PC almost 10 years ago. One of my favourite memories was when we went to Woodbine and you allowed us behind the scenes before the races. Your passion for those animals was remarkable. Always in my heart. Rest well friend." - Kelly Lynne

“Wishing you peace Dear Friend. We will miss your smiling Irish eyes and kind heart.” - Kelly, Malcolm and Daniel Mason

"A legendary man. Condolences to his family. I can only wish to leave such a legacy." - Marcy Sanderson

“RIP Charles. A great inspiration to everyone fortunate to have experienced your company and compassion.” - Wolf Smith-Butz

"He was such a sweet and kind man. I haven’t seen him in at least 14 years, but I saw him basically every day when I was in the equestrian club since he let the horses stay on his farm and let us use his paddocks for lessons. He touched so many people with his gentleness." - Kaitlyn Redmond

“Charles -- Mr. Boyd -- thank you for inspiring a love of history and of learning in us rambunctious boys. Your blend of firm discipline and lovely Irish humour was exactly what we all needed... plus, you just made learning fun! Words can't encapsulate the far-reaching effects of a half century of teaching, coaching, counselling and mentorship on the students you have touched. But know that we are in the world, reflecting your light of fairness, love, and unshakable belief in the essential goodness of Man.” - Dag Spicer

"What a wonderful teacher, friend of Pickering College, envoy, great human being...that bright star shining over Hilltop school every night from now on will remind us Charles is thinking of his beloved Pickering College...as for us, we will cherish his memory in our hearts....he is at rest but will never be forgotten." - Doug Reed

"If someone's life can be measured by the number of lives touched, then Mr. Boyd's life and his legacy are infinite. I am very grateful to have known him." - Ryan Corkum

"Mr. Boyd was a constant for us boarding students. Asking questions about our interests and really paying attention as we spoke. He listened. He truly did. We saw him at breakfast. We saw him at dinner. Such a kind man who helped make PC feel like home. I’m so glad I told him that three years ago. May the roads rise up to meet you C.F."  - Belindalucy-Kerillyn Nyamrunda

"He was one of the Pillars." - Cheung Nam Po

"A kind and gentle soul who made everyone feel welcomed at Pickering. We will miss you so much Mr.Boyd. RIP" - Joanne Golding

"He's a definition of a legend" - Williams Tracy

"Every single memory I had at Pickering had Mr. Boyd in it. He lives in my heart for always. I hope he rests in peace and knows he is missed for his kindness." - Lana Bee Bayram

"May you be received by the court of angels to meet our maker. I was always inspired Mr. Boyd's world religion class and by his affectionate continued mentorship. You will always live in my thoughts, words and actions dear friend. My most sincere and deepest condolences to his family and friends." - Isaías Medina '85

"Mr. Boyd was one of those once in a lifetime special souls. He will be missed dearly!" - Elle Henry

"My very first memory at Pickering was before I started kindergarten and was greeted at the front pillars by Mr. Boyd. Over my 14 years at PC, we grew a friendship that felt like family at school. He always made the people around him feel seen and loved, always making time to talk with them at lunch and in the hallways. When I think of the values that Pickering stands upon, I think of Mr. Boyd. He will be so missed, and I was so glad to know him. The people are Pickering.” - Lauren Jenkins

"Charles was a mentor and friend. He inspired a love of history and he helped me understand that all knowledge is connected. This fundamental principle helped to shape my career - I will miss his light. Rest in peace Charles, knowing you have made a difference." - Blake Melnick

To share your memory on this page, email communications@pickeringcollege.on.ca.