Obituary of Emma Lee Boyd
Emma Lee Boyd’s life began in Hawkinsville, Georgia on October 7, 1933. She was the eleventh of twelve children and the youngest girl born to William McGriff, Sr. and Julia Sutton McGriff.
Emma was raised and educated in Hawkinsville. She married her high school sweetheart and love of her life, Ossie Lee Boyd, Sr., on July 10, 1954 and they remained married for 63 years until his passing in 2017.
Shortly after Ossie’s discharge from the military, they relocated to New Jersey and began their family. Their beautiful union produced four children. Because of Emma’s steadfast love and dedication to family, she thoroughly enjoyed her life as a housewife and mother. It was not until her children were of school age that Emma decided to work part-time as a Teacher’s Aide for the Newark Board of Education where she worked until she retired in 1990 to care for her oldest grandson.
She was wholeheartedly dedicated and devoted to her family. She was the “glue” which kept them tightly knit together. She was protective and always did whatever it took to care for her family. If her children or grandchildren were sick, she insisted they stay close to her so she could love on them until they were better. Her 2nd bedroom was affectionately known as the “convalescent room”.
Emma’s extension of kindness, generosity and sacrificial care depicted the beautiful person she was. It was also recognized by many how very much she loved not just her immediate family but her extended family as well. She loved spending time with her siblings and many of her nieces and nephews as they grew up together. As long as there was blood running through her body, she was going to sacrifice to make sure her family was taken care of.
Emma was a great cook. Her specialties were fried chicken and mac and cheese as well as her Thanksgiving dinners. She would often say to her daughters, “Ya’ll gonna learn how to cook, clean, take care of a husband, and get your education too.” Emma also loved crafting, especially floral crafts. She and her daughter Phyllis opened a booth in a flea market where they sold floral arrangements that she and Phyllis made.
As a child, Emma accepted Jesus as her Lord and Savior and led a Christian life. She was a devoted member of St. John Baptist Church since the 70s. She was the President of the Nurse’s Unit for many years. She spearheaded many events including fundraisers (bake sales, bus rides, raffles etc.) church anniversaries and Pastor’s anniversaries. She was active in the church until she became ill in 2008. She had a “no nonsense” personality and set high expectations. Once she set out to do something, she made it happen. If you were on board to help her with the events, you had to be 100% on board.
Emma also took great pride in her home as well as her appearance. Her home was meticulous, and she presented and carried herself flawlessly.
Emma Lee Boyd departed this life on November 29, 2022 after a long illness. She lived a life of selfless generosity and kindness, one worthy of recognition, honor, and celebration. She was greatly loved and will be truly missed.
Emma was preceded in death by her parents, William McGriff, Sr. and Julia Sutton McGriff, her husband, Ossie Lee Boyd, Sr., her son, Ossie Lee Boyd, Jr., her six brothers, her five sisters, as well as many relatives and friends.
Emma leaves to cherish her memory: her children, Sandra Boyd, Phyllis Boyd, Jacquelyn Stewart and her son-in-law, Michael Stewart, Sr.; her grandchildren, Stephen Williams Jr., Michael Stewart, Jr., and Marques Stewart; and special friends Claresa Harrell, and Angleen Johnson; and a host of nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.
A special thank you goes to Emma’s caregivers, Tanya Anderson, Tanya Ledgister, Shinnela Rockcliffe, Donnete James and all the other caregivers that took special care of her over the last ten years of her life.