December 3, 1924 ~ November 26, 2018
Wilford Boyd Christensen, beloved father, grandfather, great-grandfather, and friend to so many, died peacefully Monday evening seven days short of his 94th birthday. The elder of two remarkable boys raised on Lewiston, UT's sugar factory row by Jennie and Wilford Christensen, Boyd learned early the value of hard work, education, and passbook savings. He was a 'people person' which led to his election as the North Cache High Student Body President where he ran track, debated, and played in the band on his way to Utah State University.
WWII interceded and at 19, Boyd was drafted and served in Allied HQ under General Mark Clark. Lt. Christensen applied the GI Bill to a BA-USU and an MBA- Stanford. Shortly back from the War in 1946, Boyd and his Chi Omega sweetheart, Betty Jean Chandler of North Ogden, were sealed in the Salt Lake Temple.
In 1950, MBA Boyd walked into the Allstate Insurance R&D Center in Menlo Park, CA where his 'whiz kid' talent quickly became evident. Over the next 23 years, through seven family moves, and the birth of four children Boyd became President and Vice-Chairman of Allstate. Then, in 1973, he left to join HUD as Asst. Secretary during the Watergate-charged days of Richard Nixon. An Aggie at heart, Boyd was next asked to oversee re-structuring of USU's troubled business operations where he also led development for Cache Valley's IHC hospital. Boyd then moved to Salt Lake to become the Utah Assoc Power Sys, GM and raised funds for the Utah Symphony.
In 1983, Boyd was called as President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' New York City Mission and it was in this humbling assignment that Boyd and Jean's extraordinary blend of vision, leadership, charity, and love truly emerged. Upon their return to Salt Lake, Boyd managed IPA and Church President Gordon B. Hinkley called the couple to direct Hosting and in 1994, to build the Visitor Activities Dept. where Boyd launched the popular Airport-to-Temple Square shuttle and the Concerts in the Park series.
In 2003, Boyd and Jean caught the vision of 'This is the Place' Park and they generously sponsored the replica Deseret Hospital featuring Jean's antique quilt collection. It was one of Boyd's proudest moments when renowned heart surgeon and Church Apostle Russell M. Nelson dedicated the building that today houses the Utah Quilt Guild which Jean helped found. Boyd and Jean, throughout their 66 years together, sought opportunities to serve, to build, to give back. In business, the community, for the Church, or with Family he was always loving by leading, expecting, innovating. Boyd's impressive list of awards included the BYU Marriott School, USU, and SUU where he received an honorary Ph.D. in Business Administration. He was on Boards with the Symphony, the Opera, Rotary, United Way, the Chamber, and the Sons of Utah Pioneers. And of course, his smile & shake was a Thursday fixture at the Temple, as Crestview Ward's Senior Friendship Director, and in countless, faithful Home Teaching visits.
Boyd is survived by one brother, Dr. Gordon (Rella) Christensen, of Mapleton; four children: Jeffery Boyd (Eve) Los Angeles; Callie Jean (Kirk) Godfrey, Layton; Peter Kevin (Toby) Washington DC; and Janet Claire (Todd) Calvert, SLC; 19 grandchildren, and 48 great-grandchildren.
Viewing will be held Friday, December 7, 2018, 6:00-8:00 p.m. at Larkin Sunset Lawn, 2350 East 1300 South, SLC. Memorial Service will be held Saturday, December 8, 2018, 10:00 a.m. at 2795 Crestview Drive, SLC. Burial will be in the Logan City Cemetery beside his sweetheart Jean.
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