ESMOND — Boyd W. Goelitz, 94, of Esmond, passed peacefully into our Lord’s presence on Jan. 1, 2021, surrounded by loved ones.
Boyd is survived by his wife of 68 years, Marcia, of Esmond; his sons, Roger (Lourdes) of Loveland, Colorado, Charles (Nancy) of Bloomington, and Michael (Judy) of Monroe Center; his grandchildren, Erin (Robin) Held of Aurora, Colorado, Sean Goelitz of Denver, Colorado, Sara (Chris) Sturgeon of Normal, Serena Goelitz and Adam Goelitz of Monroe Center; and his great-grandchildren, Maggie Sturgeon, Alexandra Held and Caleb Held; sisters-in-law, Catherine Goelitz and Judy Johnson; brothers-in-law, Paul (Gladys) Laube, Eugene (Betty) Laube, Bruce (Diane) Laube; and many nieces and nephews.
He is preceded in death by his parents, Harry and Iva Goelitz; his brother, Harold Goelitz; and infant great-grandson, Trevor Sturgeon.
Boyd was born on Sept. 3, 1926 at home in Esmond. He graduated from Rochelle Township High School in 1944, was drafted into the Army in March of 1945. He served his country first as a Counter Intelligence Corps (Special Ops) officer, then in Graves Registration, recovering remains of downed U.S. servicemen in Japan. After WWII, he returned home and began his life-long passion of farming the land, enjoying being his own boss, and helping to feed the world.
In addition to raising corn and soybeans, he loved feeding cattle, which he did until he was 73. Never one for full retirement, at 77 he then began a career as a Crop Insurance Adjustor until he stopped at age 90, all the while continuing his grain farming, even working the ground this past Fall in preparation for Spring planting.
He married Marcia in 1952, and they settled a mile away from his family’s farm. They were blessed with three sons, Roger, Charles, and Michael. Boyd was a great family man and a loving husband, father, and grandfather. Family and his faith were of utmost importance to Boyd and he loved being able to celebrate family events and important occasions. He was known for great hugs, great stories, and always had time to show his love to family and friends. He felt God had truly blessed him.
Boyd was deeply involved in the Esmond community. He was a member of the Masonic Lodge for 73 years; a lifelong member of Esmond United Methodist Church; served on the board of Greenview Cemetery for 42 years and as Secretary-Treasurer for 35 years; and served as board member of the former United Bank of Rochelle.
Boyd played both baseball and hockey as a young man. Always a sports fan, he later officiated high school football and basketball for 37 years, as a member of the White Pines Officials Association. He officiated the State 3A football championship game in 1995 and the State 6A football championship game in 1996. He was a lifelong fan of the Detroit Tigers and Detroit Red Wings and always looked forward to the baseball season.
Boyd lived out his Christianity with honesty and integrity. His family and friends will always remember him as a man of wisdom. He had a deep love for his country. He always demonstrated a genuine interest in everyone he met.
A funeral is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 9 at the Esmond United Methodist Church for family, with a livestream on the Unger-Horner Funeral Home Facebook page for the community as Boyd’s life is celebrated.
The family would like to thank Mike and Judy Goelitz for opening their home and providing compassionate end-of-life care, and to OSF Hospice for their wonderful care of Boyd and support for the family.
In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to Esmond United Methodist Church or Greenview Cemetery, Esmond, Illinois.
Please visit www.ungerhorner.com to sign the online guest book.