It is with deep sorrow we share the news that Mr. Charles Boyd passed away peacefully in his sleep after a short but courageous battle with metastatic melanoma.
In moving to hospice care on September 13, he told his close friends that he was ready to go home. He spent his final afternoon visiting his beloved Blue & Silver farm and then drove by Pickering College one last time where staff, students and Board members paid tribute to him.
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.
We will be taking a few days to make arrangements about a service to celebrate Charles' life and will share that information with you shortly.
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. Make a donation in Memory of Charles Boyd
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.
Head of School