In memoriam: Missionary emeritus Fonda Boyd, 1935-2023 

Fonda Boyd, 1935-2023 
IMB Photo

Fonda Boyd, an International Mission Board missionary emeritus who shared the gospel in Barbados, died Nov. 8, 2023. She was 88.

Fonda was born Feb. 14, 1935, in Fairmont, West Virginia, to the late Bernard O. and Pearl B. Bice. She studied at Wilkes Community College in Wilkesboro; North Carolina, Catawba Valley Technical Institute in Hickory, North Carolina; and Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, North Carolina.

On July 12, 1951, she married Lester C. Boyd. She and Lester came to Christ after a door-to-door window awnings salesman shared the gospel with them. She recounted the story in her application for appointment.

“In 1957, Lester and I moved to Kernersville, North Carolina, because of his work. While living in Kernersville, a man named A. G. Wright came to our house one day selling awnings for the windows.

When I told him that we were only renting the house and would not be interested in buying awnings, he thanked me and started walking away, she said.

“Suddenly he came back to the door and asked if my husband and I were Christians. I told him we were not. He made an appointment to come back and talk to Lester and me. Upon his return to our home, he shared the plan of salvation with us, telling us how Christ had died for our sins. He told us that eternal life could be ours by accepting Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord. He said that it took repenting of our sins and putting our faith and trust in Jesus Christ.”

Years later, Fonda felt the call to missions after becoming friends with a former international missionary.
In 1976, the Foreign Mission Board (now International Mission Board) appointed Fonda and Lester missionaries to Barbados. The couple served for 18 years.

Her obituary described her as, “a selfless woman that cared for so many people. She was a retired missionary that dedicated her time to caring for others. She was very strong-willed and determined, no matter the cause.”

Fonda is survived by her husband of an astounding 72 years, Lester C. Boyd, Sr.; daughter, Darlene Richardson (Tommy); son, Lester “Butch” C. Boyd Jr. (Joan); two grandsons and two grea- grandchildren.

A funeral service was Nov. 10 at Wendell Baptist Church in Wendell, North Carolina, with burial in Baptist Tabernacle Church Cemetery, Wendell, North Carolina.

Read an obituary here.