Boyd Herschel Wilde died on June 14, 2020. Boyd was born at Walter Reed Hospital in Washington, D.C. on July 3, 1954 to Herschel Calvin and Wilma Sorensen Wilde. He was a happy kid who loved pranks—like the fireworks poppers he tied to screen door knobs, and the plastic spiders swinging out of the cupboard doors, and the April fool’s day when he put salt in the sugar dispenser. Dad was not happy with his Wheaties that day. And then there was the infamous tank prank. (Explanation redacted until we can confirm statute of limitations has expired!)\r\n\r\nBoyd attended Liberty Elementary, Grant Elementary and Riverview Jr High in Murray. Boyd, Wayne, Uncle Dave, and the greater LaSalle neighborhood friends loved summers spent at the school yard playing all day games of baseball that only stopped for lunch and dinner. They were all very competitive, trying to outdo each other in various contests of who could pogo stick the longest time, could walk farthest on stilts, could do the longest headstands, the most pull ups, the most sit ups (and still get out of bed the next day) and who could ride the unicycle first and farthest.\r\n\r\nSomehow Boyd and Wayne convinced their dad to buy them an off-road motorcycle. They spent many fun and sometimes bruising hours riding that bike at the clay gully, as well as repairing it back at home. \r\n\r\nBoyd attended Murray High School where he earned good grades. He was on the wrestling team, the track team and played full back and linebacker for the football team. His parents were very proud of his achievements in class, on the mat, and on the field.\r\n\r\nAfter graduating from high school, Boyd came home one day and announced he had enlisted in the Army. When asked why, he stated “I was inspired by the movie the Green Beret with John Wayne—the Duke.” He went on to be a member of the Special Forces at Fort Bragg in North Carolina. \r\n \r\nBoyd loved his dogs—his most recent, Duke (The Duke) and Lucy (Lucille Ball), the wire haired fox terriers who dragged him around the block on daily walks for years, and also Dandy, the cocker spaniel who figured out how to push in the bread board to take Boyd’s freshly made sandwich every time Boyd turned around to put away the peanut butter. Boyd appreciated a smart dog and was convinced all of his dogs were brilliant and possibly spoke human.\r\n\r\nAfter several years in the Army, Boyd returned home with an honorable discharge. From time to time, it seemed like Boyd was living in another world. He had thoughts that weren’t reality, and saw images that weren’t real. He was certain other people were reading his mind. Almost 40 years ago, Boyd was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and began taking medications to help control the voices, visions, and confusion while allowing him to continue to live a fully involved life. \r\n\r\nIf you remember nothing else from this obituary, please remember that Boyd was not a paranoid schizophrenic—he was a talented, creative, intelligent, kind man who lived a full life but developed a major mental illness that would impact the rest of his life. People have various ideas about what it means to have a mental illness. Even though we’ve lived with Boyd for five years, we still barely scratched the surface of understanding what it meant for Boyd, day-to-day to try to figure out what everything around him really meant. It must have been exhausting.\r\n\r\nBoyd was an artist who drew imaginative creative pictures with hidden meanings. One of the last art events he participated in was at his care center, drawing with sidewalk chalk. He insisted his care givers lower him from his wheelchair to the ground so he could participate. He loved art. \r\n \r\nBefore he was diagnosed with his illness, while still struggling mightily to understand his delusions and paranoia, he attended the University of Utah and earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics. He also tried to work at various jobs in construction and cleaning, but eventually his demons and delusions distracted him so that he couldn’t concentrate on his work. That is when Boyd began his full-time life’s work. He used his illness to see strategies and concepts that we couldn’t see. Boyd was convinced that if he tried hard enough, he would be able to crack the secrets to winning at gambling and playing the stock market. If he trusted you enough, he might share some of these concepts with you, various combinations of letters and numbers and locations, but he was always refining them, making notes on his clipboard with his #7 pencil. On more than one occasion Boyd asked if we had noticed a certain license plate on a car or a certain billboard, or a certain person. He’d ask if we knew the significance of these things and we’d generally say they didn’t have any secret meaning but were simply coincidences. Boyd would shake his head and say if we just tried harder we’d see the connection. He also enjoyed the football pick-em league in the family but he was convinced some people had to be cheating in order to beat his strategy.\r\n\r\nThanks to his service in the Army, Boyd was able to receive excellent medical care from the Veterans facility in Salt Lake. He faithfully kept appointments, did his physical therapy, took his medication, and thanked his caregivers. Unfortunately, the medications he took for his schizophrenia for 40 years caused him to develop symptoms of Parkinson’s, including a shuffling gait, trembling hands, and loss of control of his esophagus in his throat to allow him to swallow food or liquids, which caused constant choking and risk of aspiration and pneumonia. His inability to swallow also caused significant weight loss and weakness. It seemed clear that every medication or procedure had a benefit and a side effect, and the schizophrenia continued diminishing his brain’s abilities. One of his doctors said his mental illness and fragile brain had made as serious an impact on his life as that of someone living life with quadriplegia.\r\n \r\nBoyd loved his cars—his Triumph TR250, his el Camino, and his Corvette. For a while, Boyd’s illness kept him from driving, but he eventually got a Scion xB, which was a perfect car for him to get around in. Sadly, there came a time when Boyd was unable to drive that beloved Scion, but he still kept track of appointments and was constant at giving directions to make sure his driver got him to his VA appointments early.\r\n\r\nBoyd was blessed to have parents who provided him a home, love, and care for their entire lives. After his father passed away, Boyd cared for his mother in the way only a loved son can. They spent many happy hours together before she developed Alzheimer’s. After she moved to a facility that could provide the specialized care she needed, Boyd visited her every week, taking her for a ride and often stopping at the Ice Berg for strawberry shakes and fries. They loved their ice cream.\r\n\r\nBoyd appreciated everything anyone ever did for him. He always said thank you, whether it was for a tuna sandwich, a trip to the store, or watching a football game together. He was the best brother you could hope for. He didn’t really expect gifts for holidays or birthdays, but he made sure every Christmas to buy a bottle of peanuts for each of his siblings and big chocolate Hershey bars for his two generations of nieces and nephews. He regularly practiced learning their names and acknowledged each time they visited\r\n.\r\nBoyd enjoyed good home-cooked meals. He savored every bite of pot roast, hamburger gravy with mashed potatoes, steamed carrots or broccoli, and potato cream cheese soup. He developed a special place in his belly for his beloved pudding cake. Whenever he said the blessing on a meal he included special requests for blessings for family members who had endured extra hardships. And he never, not once, complained about his life or his trials. He was grateful for every part of his life.\r\n\r\nBoyd is preceded in death by his parents and an infant brother, Winston. He is survived by his brother, Wayne (Jill), sister, Marianne Allred (Jerry), and sister, Angie Massarella, as well as numerous nieces and nephews. It was a blessing when Boyd moved in with Wayne’s family because it gave us an opportunity to get to know him so much better. We already miss him dearly—his insistence on doing the dishes, taking out the trash, but especially the occasional smile on his face when someone said something that he found funny. It was worth the effort to see that smile.\r\n\r\nThe family would like to thank all of the doctors and staff at the Salt Lake VA who cared so diligently for Boyd over the years. Also, thanks to the care givers at Rocky Mt Cottages on Vine, and at the Benson VA care facility in Payson. And Jill.\r\n\r\nIf possible, please thank a veteran today for his or her service. Boyd would have liked that.\r\n\r\nA viewing will be held on Friday, June 19, 2020, from 6:00-8:00 pm at Jenkins- Soffe Funeral Home, 4760 S State, Murray, UT. A graveside service will be held on Saturday, June 20, 2020, at 11:00 am at Wasatch Lawn Memorial Park, 3401 S Highland Drive, SLC, Utah.