Vi Boyd: a ‘great friend to many people’ in Carrickfergus and a ‘treasured’ mum

Tribute has been paid following the death of a Carrickfergus woman who played a prominent role in the town’s civic life.

Catherine Violet (Vi) Boyd, wife of former long-serving Carrickfergus Town Clerk Raymond Boyd, died peacefully at Glenabbey Manor Care Home on July 5. She was 85.

A service of thanksgiving for her life was held last Friday (July 8), at First Carrickfergus Presbyterian Church.

Rev Dr Cecil Grant told those gathered at the North Street church that Vi was a “thoughtful and caring person” and most of all a “loved and treasured” mum.

Vi Boyd addressing guests during the official opening of the Raymond Boyd Suite in 2006. Ct45-008tc

Born on September 28, 1936, her early years were spent in the Woodvale area of Belfast with Vi attending Belfast Royal Academy.

“It was through a church event that Vi met her future husband Raymond. Their relationship grew and they were married on June 10 1958 in Knock Methodist Church,” Rev Grant said. “In 1972 Raymond was appointed Town Clerk to Carrickfergus Borough Council, and that was a post that he held for over 25 years, eventually combining it with the role of chief executive.

“But along with that position came the need to be involved in a whole range of civic social functions. And in this Raymond struggled, he was quieter, more reserved, but Vi was in her element. She loved meeting people, she could engage anyone and everyone in conversation, she was a genius at remembering people’s names. And she also loved dressing up and was meticulous about her appearance. Any time you saw Vi she always had her make-up on, her hair done, and looking immaculate.

“As Raymond’s career developed so opportunities for travel opened up. Through the council Raymond and Vi were invited to America to visit the twinned town of Portsmouth in New Hampshire and the US Rangers link with Arkansas. And Vi embraced these opportunities fully. She saw that there was a big world to be explored, and right from the very beginning she encouraged their three children to grasp every opportunity to travel and experience what the world has to offer, which is precisely what they did, with family now living in Missouri, Tasmania and New Zealand.

Vi Boyd unveiled a plaque at the Raymond Boyd Suite in 2006.

“Raymond retired in 1999, and with the family spreading out across the globe you can imagine that Vi and Raymond were looking forward to a long and fulfilling retirement together, but that was not to be. Unfortunately Raymond developed Lewy body dementia and after a number of years of Vi caring for him Raymond died in early 2006.”

Very Special

Rev Grant added: “To many people Vi Boyd was a great friend. To so many in First Carrick Presbyterian Church, Vi was a wonderful, caring, thoughtful and generous, Christian lady. To those who knew her in other ways Vi was very special, but most of all to her family she was loved and treasured: a mum who cheered them on to make the most of life, to make the most of the talents they’d been given and the opportunities that came their way. A mum who prayed for them constantly and longed for nothing more than that they would experience the fullness of life that is promised to us in Jesus.”

Following Raymond’s death, council named a suite after him at Carrickfergus Town Hall. The Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Alderman Noel Williams, referred to this honour in his tribute to Mrs Boyd.

Ald Williams said: “Vi was a great support to Raymond, often accompanying him on many of his formal duties. She later opened the Boyd Suite in Carrickfergus Town Hall in memory of Raymond. Our thoughts and those of many former Carrickfergus councillors are with Vi’s family at this sad time.”

A family notice on the funeral times website said Mrs Boyd was: “Dearly loved wife of the late Raymond, loving and devoted mother of Philip, Cate and Michael. Proud grandmother to Lola, Luca, Phoebe, Reese, Maggie and sister to Stan and Sam.”

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