The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Steven E. Boyd


April 25, 2019

IRONWOOD, Mich. - Steven E. Boyd, 60, of Ironwood Township, left an unfillable place in our lives and hearts in the early morning hours of April 4, 2019. For six years he fought an aggressive cancer with a smile on his face. He shared his positive outlook freely with others.

He is survived by his fiance Jacalyn and her son Hallby, children Chris (Rachel) and Brian, brother Bruce (Lorna), sister Barbara (Dave), father Don (Rose), four grandchildren, five nephews and one niece.

Steve graduated from Seaholm High School in Birmingham in 1976. He graduated with a bachelor's degree from Indiana University in 1981 majoring in music education and minoring in trumpet performance and political science. He received his master's degree in music education from the University of Illinois in 1985 where he graduated with high honors and received the outstanding musician award from the band department.

In 1971, Steve had his first experience playing in the All-State Intermediate Band at Interlochen Center for the Arts. It only took one summer to hook him for the next 30 years. He sat 1st chair through his years in the High School Boys Division from 1974-76. He had the honor of performing under the direction of and perform with soloists who have now become some of the legendary names in the music field. His successful music career was greatly influenced by all the musicians, friendships, and his favorite mentor, "Coach" Lee Cabutti. Steve became a counselor himself in 1979, was Head of the Boys Division and sat on the Interlochen Alumni Organization Board until 1990.

Steve was an active performer, playing trumpet with the Duluth, Chequamegon, Houghton and Pine Mountain Music Festival orchestras, The Big Woods Big Band, Lowell Street Band, as well as other performances in the region. He was a clinician and adjudicator for the Wisconsin School Music Association where he was certified as a Master Adjudicator. He was a published composer and arranger. Steve had been a member of the Michigan Council of the Arts Grant Approval Board, National Band Association, Music Educators National Conference, International Trumpet Guild, was on the WSMA music selection committee, and was a participant in many other educational and musical organizations.

Mr. Boyd began his teaching career in Whiting, Ind., near the south side of Chicago from 1981-84, but his fondness for cold temperatures led him north to Ironwood where he taught at Luther L. Wright from 1986-2016. He impacted thousands of students, parents, faculty, staff, administration and community members with his passion for teaching "life" through music and quiz bowl. Under his leadership, both middle and high school bands competed in primarily Class A large group ensemble events. Every single year they received a first rating. Solo ensemble participants numbered in the thousands with multiple hundreds attending state solo ensemble through the years. He was particularly fond of creating "choirs" from his high school band and took his beloved clarinet choir to Chicago for decades. He frequently composed his own music for the clarinet choir and arranged countless pieces of music to include all students in various ensembles. The quiz bowl team was trained to be quick on the buzzer and many discussions during practices led the students to blistering defeats of their opponents. Mr. Boyd's last few years of coaching quiz bowl took them all the way to state. His love for traveling and exploring new places helped students broaden their horizons and understand there is so much more beyond Gogebic County.

Steve spent his time outside of school as an Ironwood Township board member (2008-2016) and following his retirement in 2016 was elected Ironwood Township supervisor. He spent long hours looking beyond the township's turmoil to the near future where he was planning many positive changes that would stabilize and provide positive community outreach. He desired financial stability and the ability to complete long awaited projects and upgrades to the Ironwood Township. He loved his job, co-workers and constituents - treating them all with mutual care and respect. To him, everyone's opinions mattered.

He also loved and cherished his family, friends, everybody's else's kids, Atlas and Agnes (the dogs), reading, traveling, bowling, growing the most odd plants he could find each spring, watching performances, a good bottle of wine, a fantastic dinner and a fast-paced, witty conversation. Steve was always looking for a good laugh and he actively sought to find the good in everyone.

Steve left behind very little since he gave away his heart and everything to people in need. He always struggled with "goodbye," whether it was his students, past relationships and even his goodbye to the world. He modestly said he did not want a service, however, his parting wish for everyone was this: Raise a glass in his memory and then overtip the waitress - she needs it more than you. Give a beggar a dollar, maybe five, and for once, don't worry about what they'll do with it. Make a fool of yourself so a child will laugh. Travel somewhere you've never been. Learn something new and share it with others. Love how you want to be loved, and laugh until tears run from your eyes.


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