Boyd Cleveland Campbell, Jr., devoted husband and father, passed away in Charlotte, North Carolina on Saturday, December 12, at the age of 79.
Boyd was born on December 1, 1941 in Abingdon, VA, to Boyd and Rosalind Campbell. A proud graduate of Davidson College, he earned his BA in 1963; he earned his JD in 1966, from the University of Virginia School of Law. He served two years of active duty in the United States Army, attaining the rank of Captain in 1968.
He practiced law in Concord and Charlotte, NC, retiring as a Senior Partner at McGuire Woods in 2016. On May 22, 1982, Boyd married Frances Ann Kelley. Their daughter, Margaret, was born on September 17, 1983. A man of quiet faith, he was a 35-year member of First Presbyterian Church.
The eldest of six children, Boyd was generously supportive of his family. At home, he helped care for his brothers and sisters; later, he sent them pocket money diverted from his Army pay. When he sensed someone in need, he assisted without being asked, and asked nothing in return (although he never failed to remind his siblings that he was unfairly moved to a bedroom “in a closet” to accommodate them – an experience that nurtured his childhood sense of justice).
After a successful career as a young lawyer in Concord, Boyd moved his practice to the Helms Mulliss (now McGuire Woods) law firm in Charlotte. As a Senior Partner there, he continued serving his old clients and attracted new ones as well. Boyd was a great listener; his advice was usually short, and always sound. The clients he served were devoted to him, and he was loyal to them. He was a generous mentor to many young lawyers.
Boyd never split himself between career, family, and community; instead, he gave his all to each. Even when working hard, he prioritized his family, orchestrating work trips to whisk them to England, France, and New York, and enduring summer swim meets in a lawyerly shirt and tie.
But the center of his universe was his daughter, Margaret. He taught her to ride a bike and change a tire, re-watched The Pink Panther until she fell off the couch laughing, and counseled her through college applications, heartbreaks, and career changes. During her visits home, he would sneak off to wash her dusty car and leave encouraging notes in the glove compartment. In 2018, against his own frequent exhortation to “get this show on the road,” he accompanied her down the wedding aisle with a whisper of “slowly…slowly,” to better match his steps to the music.
In recent years, Boyd’s world was narrowed by struggles with progressive dementia. Giving up his beloved ski trips out West, he took up swimming and accompanied his family to the mountains and beaches of the Carolinas. Around town, he besieged and charmed the tireless employees of bookstores, shoe stores, and Great Outdoor Provision. In his last months, he focused on connecting with family and friends, bringing tenderness and wit to even the most difficult conversations. Boyd died peacefully in his home on December 12, lovingly attended by his daughter, wife, and youngest sister.
The family expresses sincere appreciation for the compassionate care given by Dr. Charles Edwards and his staff at Memory and Movement Charlotte.
Boyd was preceded in death by his father and mother, Boyd and Rosalind Campbell, and his brother Steve (Gail). He is survived by his wife Frances, his daughter Margaret (Matt), his siblings Betsy (Joe), Henry (Olga), Page (Terry) and Anne (Rich), and nine nieces and nephews.
In light of the pandemic, a private funeral service will be held at First Presbyterian Church on Wednesday, December 16, at eleven o’clock in the morning. Friends are invited to view the service online at https://www.firstpres-charlotte.org/funerals.
At the family’s request, memorial donations may be made to Memory and Movement Charlotte in care of Charlotte Neuroscience Foundation, 300 Billingsley Road, Suite 108, Charlotte, NC 28211, or to First Presbyterian Church, 200 West Trade St., Charlotte, NC 28202.
Arrangements are in the care of Kenneth W. Poe Funeral & Cremation Service, 1321 Berkeley Ave., Charlotte, NC 28204; (704) 641-7606. Online condolences can be shared at www.kennethpoeservices.com.
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