Charlton Boyd

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Former Mayor, Civic Leader Dies at 91

Charlton Phillips “Charlie” Boyd, a former mayor who endeavored to improve Laguna Beach during his 50 years as a resident, passed away in Dana Point on Feb. 3, 2011. He was 91.

Boyd was born June 5, 1919, one of eight children born to Jennie and Richard Boyd of Chelmsford, Mass. The son of a carpenter and rural New England home-builder, Boyd graduated from Chelmsford High School in 1937 and from Harvard University with a business degree in 1941.

Boyd also enrolled in Navy ROTC and entered active duty prior to the World War II attack on Pearl Harbor. Assigned in Washington D.C., Boyd was involved in the initial wave of communications regarding the attack. Boyd served in Africa, France and Italy as a Naval communications officer. During the invasion of Southern France, he served as the American communications officer to Sir Winston Churchill aboard the HMS Largs.

In 1942 Boyd married Jane Fernald of Presque Isle, Maine. They met at a party. After the war, the Boyds moved to Hartsdale, N.Y., where he worked for Bigelow Sanford Company in the Empire State Building. The couple had two sons, Scott and Alan, born in 1946 and 1948, respectively. In 1953, Boyd moved his family to San Carlos, Calif., where he joined his brother Milton in the carpet business. Daughter Lucy was born in Redwood City in 1954.

In 1957, the family moved again to Laguna Beach. Making a career change, Boyd entered the aerospace industry, then growing in Southern California. Working primarily for Hughes Aircraft and North American Aviation, he took pride in working on the Landing Module (LEM) for the first Apollo moon landing, but was laid off with others in its aftermath.

In 1971, he and his wife bought and managed the Adventure Travel Service agency, located in a building that served as Laguna’s first post office.

The couple both immersed themselves in the local community. Jane served on several school boards and PTA while Charlie was involved with numerous organizations as well as the Laguna Beach City Council, serving both as vice-mayor and mayor during the 1970s and ‘80s. He was most proud of his part in the redevelopment of the Main Beach park area.

Boyd retired from Adventure Travel in 1982 and spent five years tending to Jane, who had Alzheimer’s and died in 1987.

Boyd also participated with the Harvard Club of Orange County, PTA, Boy Scouts, Boys Club fund raising, Citizens Town Planning Association, Village Laguna, St. Mary’s Church vestryman, Orange County Travel Assoc., Friends of the Library, Exchange Club and Laguna Greenbelt.

Boyd is survived by Scott, of Redding, Calif;, Alan of Kailua, Hawaii; Lucy of Moraga, Calif., five grandchildren and three great grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held at a later date.

If desired, donations may be made in Boyd’s memory to the Laguna Beach Historical Society (949 939-7257)

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