What an honor it would be to have a street named after you. What do you think it would take? What kind of commitment to your community and service would be required to cause such a thing? Look to William F. Boyd Sr. of E. F. Boyd & Son Funeral Home for an example, as Cleveland, Ohio’s 89th street will soon be renamed William Boyd Sr. Way.
If you’re not familiar with E. F. Boyd Funeral Home or Mr. Boyd, you may have a lot of questions right now. Perhaps you’re wondering, why 89th street? That’s an easy one: Since 1938, the main headquarters of E. F. Boyd & Son (which now includes three funeral homes) has been located at 2165 East 89th Street in Cleveland. At this location alone, hundreds of families have found solace, and have had the opportunity to grieve and mourn in their own uniquely personal ways.
William F. Boyd Sr. is Chairman of the Board, as well as the “son” in E. F. Boyd & Son. He worked alongside his father, Elmer F. Boyd who founded the business in 1905, until his passing in 1944. Still a family business, the staff now includes a fourth generation of Boyd’s! And, although Mr. Boyd is well into his nineties, he is still only semi-retired. After working with the same families for generations, he simply cannot walk away from the business and break the bonds he has built over the years.
While running a successful Cleveland, Ohio business, Mr. Boyd still found time to be actively involved in the growth and strengthening of his community. For more than seventy years he has been a member of Antioch Baptist Church, supporting and being supported by his church family.
A lifetime member of the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), in 1959 Mr. Boyd chaired the first Freedom Fund Dinner of the Cleveland Chapter. Shortly after that, he became involved in the Cleveland Board of Education, eventually serving as vice president for a time. Through these organizations he was able to reach many different groups and demographics within his community. He led by example, showing young people the importance of education, and what could be achieved through hard work and dedication. His father had been an excellent example to him, and Mr. Boyd made sure to live the legacy, passing those lessons on to his own children, as well as friends, neighbors, and each person who saw him become a community leader.
When you think about it, William Boyd Sr. Way is the perfect name. Not just because of the street’s location, but because of the man for whom it is named. William Boyd Sr. Way is more than a road, a thoroughfare that takes you from point A to point B. It’s The William Boyd Sr. Way—a way of living life to its fullest potential, of committing yourself to serving your community both through local organizations, as well as through a business that offers support to local individuals and families.
Plans are currently underway for a very special dedication ceremony to be held at the corner of 89th and Cedar in late June. Check back for additional details or visit www.EFBoyd.com. There you can also learn more about Mr. William F. Boyd Sr. and E. F. Boyd & Son Funeral Home. If you’re interest in pre-planning or other funeral related services in the Cleveland, Ohio area, you can find information online or call them at 216.791.0770 to schedule an appointment to visit their East 89th Street main location, soon to be sitting on William Boyd Sr. Way!