Laura Boyd ’70

Laura Jean (Peters) Boyd passed away on July 8, 2022. Laura was born on September 5, 1948 in Chicago, IL to James and Mona (Stresenreuter) Peters. The family later moved from Chicago’s South Side to Homewood, IL where she grew up. Her life was forever changed when her father, a WW2 Purple Heart recipient, passed away when she was 10 years old, after which her mother went back to school and worked as a public school teacher, ensuring both her daughters graduated from college. After graduation from Homewood-Flossmoor High School, Laura attended Hope College, earning her teaching degree. She made a memorable trip to Asia in 1968 to visit her sister, visiting Japan, the Philippines, Cambodia and Hong Kong. After starting her teaching career in Illinois, she married James Boyd in 1972 and moved to Kalamazoo. Laura had her son Thomas in 1974 and daughter Jill in 1976. She delighted in raising her kids in the Westnedge Hill neighborhood and later enjoyed reminiscing with friends on the neighborhood shenanigans around Duke St. and Duchess Dr. After earning her Masters in Education from Western Michigan University she returned to teaching, this time as a reading specialist for Plainwell Public Schools, retiring in 2008. In retirement she volunteered through the Alpha Delta Kappa educators organization and the Junior League of Kalamazoo, enjoyed reading and socializing with her Book Club, spoiling her grandchildren, and visiting her daughter in New England and sister in Virginia. She also resumed international travel, bringing back facts and books to ensure her reign as the family Jeopardy champion. Most recently, she travelled with her daughter’s family and in-laws to Norway. Laura cherished the friendships she made at each stage of life and her network of friends old and new was a source of great comfort and joy. She encouraged her children to learn, travel and help others (to that end, her son followed her into teaching). She enjoyed the Cubs, Tigers and U of M sports. Between her children and grandchildren she visited most baseball, tennis, football, soccer and lacrosse fields in southwest Michigan, and always knew a shortcut. She truly enjoyed watching her grandchildren come into their own and connecting with them – her favorite story to tell was Bartholomew and the Oobleck. Laura is survived by her son Thomas Boyd of Battle Creek (Pennfield), MI; her daughter and son-in-law Jill and Ben Sawa of Winchester, MA; her grandchildren Jack, Graham, and Emma Boyd and Kate Sawa; her sister Carole (Richard) Gordon of Burke, VA; her niece, Laura Gordon, nephew Sven Gordon and their families. The authors of this obituary (her kids) want to make clear any grammatical errors are the sole result of their grief and are not in any way reflective of her.

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