Ronald P. Boyd, aka Tall Pine, was born Aug. 4, 1945, in Southampton. He died Feb. 8.
He was the son of the late Henry E. Boyd and Louise A. Murray Boyd, a descendant of the Long Island indigenous people — Montauk, Shinnecock and Poosepatuck Native American Indians. He was baptized at Goodwill AME Zion Church in Riverhead that was founded by many of his ancestors.
Ronald attended the public schools in Riverhead, and after he graduated Riverhead High School he volunteered to join the U.S. Army in 1964. He completed two tours in Vietnam, where he was wounded and awarded a Purple Heart. In 1967, he was honorably discharged and remained on standby reserve until 1970.
While readjusting to civilian life, Ron held various jobs in the local and metropolitan areas. He lived in New York City for 18 years, where he worked as a buyer for Dave Ostrich’s Men’s Fashion Guild. He was occasionally employed as chef in one of the finer restaurants in the Village. He managed his own shop that promoted being in tune with nature and preserving the ecology. He moved to Dallas, Texas, and lived there for five years. Ron worked at Neiman Marcus, where his expertise in artwork was an asset for selling premium luxury items. He later worked for Rose Jewelers in Southampton.
Ron was gregarious, enjoyed helping others and had a calling to mentor troubled youth. He returned to school and obtained an early childhood education degree and was gainfully employed at Pulaski Street Elementary School in Riverhead. Many students/faculty liked him and sought him out for advice or assistance. He was serious about children obtaining education. Ron’s innate intuition, empathy, patience, humor and teaching skills left an enduring imprint on various people. He utilized his communication abilities to encourage interest and learning via his Traveling Story Teller as well as teaching children to play chess.
Ron had a passion for life, art, world traveling and the Sunday Football Super Bowl. He hosted his last Super Bowl Party Feb. 7, 2016, with his friends and family around him, despite being on hospice care. He was a man with tenacious faith and anticipation for the absence of his body and pain to be in the presence of God.
Left to mourn and celebrate his life are his aunts Evelyn Davis and Ramona Murray, sister Gail Boyd, brothers Wayne and Craig Boyd, James Schunk, Chris Koch as well as a host of family.
Visitation for Ron was held Feb. 10 at Tuthill–Mangano Funeral Home in Riverhead. A funeral service was held Feb. 11 at Goodwill AME Zion Church, with the Rev. Gregory Miles, the Rev. Rena Thompson and sister Monica Williams officiating. Interment followed the service in Calverton National Cemetery, with U.S. Army military honors.