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1916-2007 - Former Hialeah city attorney Joe Boyd, Dade County commissioner and State Supreme Court Justice

Joseph A. Boyd had his law practice on Hialeah Drive for many years. He served as City Attorney for the city of Hialeah and then ten years on the Dade County Commission from 1958 to 1968. I met him in 1966 and volunteered to put up some of his campaign signs upstate while on a trip because he had no name recognition in northern Florida. He didn't win that campaign but was elected to the Florida Supreme Court in 1969.

Below are the news story and obituary from the Tallahassee Democrat:

Originally published October 27, 2007
Joseph A. Boyd dies at 90
Retired Justice, children's author was known for placing 'family first'

By Gerald Ensley, Tallahassee Democrat Senior Writer

Retired Florida Supreme Court Justice Joseph A. Boyd Jr. was remembered Friday as someone who embraced people as passionately as he did the law.

Boyd, who had been in declining health for several years, died Friday morning at his Tallahassee home. He was 90.

He was on the state's highest court from 1969 to 1987 and served as chief justice from 1984 to 1986. He was elected to the court after an active legal and political career in Miami, which included 10 years on the Dade County Commission.

Though he was hailed for his legal career, most who spoke Friday remembered him for his friendly, gregarious personality.

"He never met anyone he didn't like," said retired Justice Ben Overton, who served with Boyd for 13 years. "He was an extrovert. He wasn't reserved like a lot of judges."

Boyd was a champion of the common man. He was an early supporter of civil rights and women's rights in the workplace. On the Supreme Court, he supported decisions for timely justice and access to legal counsel for all. He was respected for his thorough research, fairness and strong opinions.

"He was his own person," said retired Justice Leander Shaw Jr., who spent 10 years on the court with Boyd. "If he felt a certain way, he wasn't afraid to put it in writing and stand behind it."

He was best known to his colleagues as the court's family man. For his official Supreme Court portrait, he insisted on having a photo of his family in the background. He and his wife, Ann, a prominent Tallahassee real-estate agent, were married for 69 years. They had five children.

"He placed his family first and foremost; the law was second," Shaw said.

Boyd was born in Hoschton, Ga., where his father was a house painter and fur trapper. Boyd painted houses, sold Bibles, drove a bread truck and worked construction to put himself through Piedmont (Ga.) College, where he met his wife. In 1939, the couple moved to Miami to help her mother run a hotel and restaurant. During World War II he served with the Marines in the South Pacific, then returned home to earn a law degree from the University of Miami.

He practiced law, served as the Hialeah city attorney and was a Dade County commissioner from 1958 to 1968 before being elected to the Supreme Court.

After leaving the court, Boyd practiced law with one of his sons, Joseph R. Boyd. He also wrote a series of children's inspirational books.

"He was never pretentious," said the younger Boyd. "He was known for sticking out a hand and saying, 'Hi, I'm Joe Boyd.' I'm sure that's how he greeted them in heaven."

Justice Boyd will lie in state at the Florida Supreme Court from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday. The funeral will follow at 2 p.m. at First Baptist Church. The family will receive friends from 4 to 6 p.m. Sunday at the Los Robles Woman's Club. Flags at the Capitol will fly at half-staff this weekend.

Contact reporter Gerald Ensley at (850) 599-2310 or
Boyd Jr., Justice Joseph A.

Justice Joseph A. Boyd Jr., 90, who retired as a Justice of the Florida Supreme Court, died Friday, October 26, 2007, at his home in Tallahassee. He is survived by his wife of 69 years, Ann Stripling Boyd. The service will be at 2 p.m. EDT Monday, October 29, at First Baptist Church in Tallahassee, with burial at MeadowWood Memorial Park. Family will receive friends from 4 to 6 p.m. Sunday, October 28, at the Woman's Club in Los Robles. Justice Boyd will lie in state from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday in the Rotunda of the Florida Supreme Court Building. Bevis Funeral Home in Tallahassee (850-385-2193 or is handling arrangements. Memorial contributions may be made to Big Bend Hospice, 1723 Mahan Center Blvd., Tallahassee, FL 32308, or the Alzheimer's Project of Tallahassee, 301 East Tharpe Street, Tallahassee, FL 32303.

Born November 16, 1916, in Hoschton, Georgia, and a longtime resident of Miami, he moved to Tallahassee in 1968 upon his election to the Florida Supreme Court. He served as Justice of the Supreme Court from 1969 to 1987 and served as Chief Justice from 1984 to 1986. Justice Boyd worked his way through Piedmont College, where he served as Trustee Emeritus, Mercer University and the University of Miami Law School, where he received his Juris Doctor in 1948. He practiced law in Hialeah from 1948 until 1969 and was Past President of the Hialeah-Miami Springs Bar Association. He was also a member of the American Bar Association, the Florida Bar Association, the Tallahassee Bar, as well as the New York and District of Columbia Bar Associations. He served as Hialeah City Attorney from 1951 to 1958, when he was elected to the Dade County Commission, where he served from 1958 to 1968. He served as Chairman of the Dade County Commission in 1963 and as Vice Mayor of Dade County in 1967. In 1967 he received the Top Hat award from the National Federation of Business and Professional Women for advancing the status of employed women. A 33rd-degree Mason, he was a member of Oleeta Masonic Lodge, Jackson Lodge No. 1, Scottish Rite Bodies and was a Shriner. Justice Boyd was also a member and Past Commander of the American Legion, member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the Elks and was a Melvin Jones Fellow of Lions International. He was also a member of Iron Arrow, an Honorary Society of the University of Miami. He served in the United States Marine Corps during World War II, serving in the South Pacific, as well as the occupation of Nagasaki, Japan. Justice Boyd was a member of First Baptist Church of Tallahassee. Other survivors include two sons, Joseph Robert Boyd (and wife Sue) and James Daniel Boyd (and wife Laure); two daughters, Betty Jean Jala (and husband Dave) and Jane Boyd Ohlin (and husband John); grandchildren, James Goldman, Thomas Goldman, Jason Jala, Joanne Jala Barnett, Joseph Robert Boyd Jr., Jonathan Boyd, Stacy Boyd, Lindsay Boyd Martin, Matthew Boyd, J.P. Bell, Cameron Ohlin and Ryan Ohlin; and 11 great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by a daughter, Joanne Boyd Goldman. He loved his family and enjoyed a loving marriage to his wife of 69 years. He spent much of his time caring for the common man and for people who can't speak for themselves. He never met a stranger in his life. A choir of angels is eagerly welcoming him to Heaven.
Published in the Tallahassee Democrat on 10/27/2007.

Another photo of Joe Boyd with his biography is at:

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Natures Exotic Beauty Photography23-Nov-2010 17:39
I remember Joe well. He was a very good man and loved his family.
I wonder what ever happened to Betty his daughter we went to school together.