Apr 272011

William Boyd Wolfington of Holbrook died in the early morning hours of Easter Sunday, April 24, 2011, at Flagstaff Regional Medical Center in Flagstaff. He had just celebrated his 88th birthday. A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, April 30, at the First Baptist Church, located at 360 First Ave. in Holbrook.

Boyd, as he was known, was born on April 16, 1923, in Jerome to the late Wilber and Grace Ann (West) Wolfington.

Just after his graduation from Flagstaff High School, Boyd enlisted in the U.S. Navy during World War II and served as an Aviation Machinist Mate, 1st Class in the Pacific Theater.

Following his honorable discharge from the Navy, Boyd enrolled at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, where he received his bachelor’s degree.

Boyd’s education served him well throughout his long life, and he quickly became a familiar and friendly face at Holbrook High School, where he was a favorite teacher to many of his students. He taught at HHS for 30 years. When he retired, he was head of the Industrial Arts Department, which included the woodshop and metals classes. During his time at the high school, Boyd also coached its cross country track team for many years; even winning the state championship one year. He was so proud of his athletes as well as all of his students.

He had an incredible sense of community and felt a special stewardship to his friends and neighbors as he served in various capacities for the City of Holbrook. He served as a councilman for many years and was elected as mayor for a term. He and Dr. DeMarse built Holbrook’s first public swimming pool and he ran it for several years, which kept him very busy during the summer months. Boyd also took an active role in the Hashknife Pony Express for many years. He was honored one year when he was voted as Holbrook’s Man of The Year. He was a 49-year member of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks (B.P.O.E.), Holbrook Lodge No. 2450 and was one of its past exalted rulers. He thoroughly enjoyed the camaraderie and friendship of his Elk brothers. He was also a member of the American Legion, Holbrook Post No. 37.

Boyd was an avid outdoorsman and appreciated the experiences and joy that can only be found there. He loved hunting, camping and traveling, but even more than these things, he had a greater love for his family.

He was married 33 years to Hazel Wolfington and they were blessed with two beautiful children, Greg and Gwen. When his sister Clarabell died, he took on the role of father more so than that of uncle to her children, Jerry, EddiLou, Tom, Dan and Bev. Later, Boyd married Toots Diefenbach, who already had three children of her own, Kathy, Bill and Kim, and he proved to be a loving stepfather to them. When Boyd started having grandchildren, his joy continued to grow with the birth of each one of them.

He lived a full life and will be greatly missed by all in so many ways. None, however, will miss him more than his own family.

Survivors include his 2 children, Greg (Kathy) Wolfington of Albuquerque, N.M., and Gwen (Dave) Tilson of Mesa; five grandchildren, Jeff Wolfington, Jill Stoddard, Steven Wolfington, Jason Tilson and Allison Beaver; and 15 great-grandchildren.

Along with his parents and sister, Boyd was preceded in death by a grandson, Trevor Wolfington.

Owens Livingston Mortuary of Holbrook was in charge of the arrangements.