In Memory of Richard Boyd
Richard Boyd was a treasure in our community. Born in San Francisco, Richard and his wife Denise Abersold, a teacher in Richmond, moved to Atchison Village in 2006 and made Richmond their home. Richard had empathy toward our community and an unwavering belief that every neighborhood in Richmond can and deserves to be a healthy, livable space. One of his first projects was to rid his neighborhood at the bottom of Macdonald of drug dealing and loitering. Richard was not contemptuous of those dealing drugs, but believed deeply that acceptance of these behaviors, resignation and turning a blind eye was the recipe for continued unhappy and wasted lives.
Richard’s most remarkable attribute was his acceptance of each individual and his ability to help those around him become better for having known him. He held his friends and mentees to the highest standards. He was always looking for ways for individuals or groups of people who felt estranged to find areas of commonality.
He was most proud of his role as a mentor of young people in Richmond. In his work with members of Safe Return he projected a confidence, that no matter the individual’s past, a productive and satisfying life was a possibility. With his endless patience, common sense approach and unwavering belief in each person he mentored, he helped many young people go places (literally and figuratively) that they never imagined for themselves.
Richard was a committed friend of the Richmond Progressive Alliance. He supported our campaigns and our councilmembers. While he had no hesitation to express differences, he was always available to us and toward the end of his life had committed himself to helping us become an even stronger, more diverse organization.
Richard was an extraordinary friend—available for any need—a ride to the airport, to the hospital, or just an ear when things were going wrong.
Richard led a meaningful life. In his own unique, understated and gifted way he left a living legacy. Our challenge is to continue his mission--to strengthen community by helping our young people to grow and continue the struggle. We will miss him.