GREENVILLE — Bob Boyd Sr. told others in his Silver Sneakers class at the Y in Greenville that he wanted to walk his 300th mile by the time he turned 90.
Boyd, known as “the Candy Man” by many because he’s always handing out mints, made those aspirations come true.
His birthday was this past Saturday, and his “classmates” had a little surprise for him. They treated him to a specialty cake baked by Kay Jones, another Silver Sneaker; balloons with a couple of candy bars attached; and a t-shirt indicating he is now a member of the 300-Mile Walking Club at the Darke County YMCA.
“I did this in less than a year; I started Jan. 8, 2016 and finished 300 miles on Oct. 26,” he said. “I walk 2 1/2 miles daily five days a week. I also ride a stationary bike at home.”
How does he feel now that’s 90? “I feel good other than aches and pains.”
Boyd said he has been coming to the Y for 20 years, starting when his wife, the late Peggy Boyd, cooked for the children in the pre-school.
Boyd grew up in Winchester, Indiana, and came to Darke County [Weavers Station] to live near his sister and brother-in-law, Ruth and Billy Riegle, who had owned the Stardust Motel at the time.
He veteran of the U.S. Navy he served in the North Atlantic and Mediterranean Sea, then went to the Panama Canal and Philippines from 1944-46.
“I was in two years, two months and two days,” he said.
He married Margaret “Peggy” Mendenhall of Union City on July 12, 1947, and she is deceased. There are three children, Bobby, who died seven years ago, and daughters Gloria Bohn and Debbie Warner as well as 10 grandchildren, 21 great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren.
After he was out of the serviced, he worked for Hardy’s in Union City for 10 or 11 years and became a carpenter for Mendenhall Construction.
He is a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and American Legion.
“I belonged to all of the clubs until my wife died on Jan. 29, 2000,” he said.
Today, he does his own yard work and housework.
“Most of my family has only lived to be 85,” Boyd said.
His co-horts in Silver Sneakers enjoy being around him.
“He’s an inspiration to me,” said Betty Jessup. “We laugh and have a good time. He’s my mental therapy. We’ve been in this class for 10 years. You have to walk up 36 steps just to get to the track.”
“I pick him up everyday,” said Dan Knight. “We’re friends. I live in Wayne Lakes and he lives in Weavers Station.”
Kay Jones remarked, “He’s always happy and laughing.”
“He is a lot of fun and gives us candy every time,” said Geannine Miller.
“His personality makes everyone feel special,” commented Elaine Soley.
“He can laugh at himself, too,” said Pastor Joe Soley.
Boyd, who was also honored at a surprise birthday party at the Brethren Retirement Community on Oct. 23, thanks everyone who helped his celebrate his birthday and this accomplishment and offers this advice to others: “Live and have fun….don’t take everything serious.”
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