Remembering Betty Gwynn Boyd

Betty Gwynn Boyd, 85, of Winter Park, FL, formerly of Black Mountain and Brevard, NC, died peacefully in her sleep Saturday morning, May 27, 2017.  Born on March 21, 1932, she grew up in Davidson, NC until she moved to Pennsylvania where she graduated from Ambler High School in 1950.  She received her BA in religion at the College of Wooster (Ohio), and her teaching certificate at Kent State University.

After marrying Howie Boyd in 1957, she worked as a school teacher in Texas and Virginia while he served as a Navy pilot.  They then moved to Brazil with their three daughters where they spent two happy and adventurous years while he pursued his doctorate.  In 1968, Betty and her twin sister Barbara inherited a camp in Brevard, NC, from their aunt Mary Gwynn.  Betty and Barbara had spent many happy childhood summers at camp with their Aunt Mary.  Betty and Howie went on to direct Gwynn Valley for 30 years.  Betty and Howie’s legacy lives on at Gwynn Valley Camp which continues to enrich children’s lives today. Both Betty and Howie were true mentors to many of today’s leaders in camping both in NC and across the nation.  One of Gwynn Valley’s values is “acceptance” and Betty and her husband really focused on creating an atmosphere where children and staff felt the comfort of camp’s inclusiveness.  Both were advocates of camp integration as well as bringing in staff from all over the world.  This still stands true today.

Following retirement Betty and Howie spent a year doing mission work in Mexico with the Presbyterian border ministries.  Other volunteer work included Transylvania Christian Ministries, tutoring at El Centro, and helping out at a local daycare center.  She was a member of Brevard Davidson River and Warren Wilson Presbyterian Church.  In all of her endeavors Betty earned the love of many through her kind and generous spirit.

Betty is survived by her brother, Price H. Gwynn, III of Charlotte, NC, her daughters Eve Boyd of Philadelphia, Mary Boyd-Brown (Dave) of Columbus, OH, and Ginger Van Valkenburgh (Mark) of Winter Park, five grandchildren, one great-grandchild, and several nieces and nephews.  She was preceded in death by her husband, Howie Boyd and twin sister, Barbara Orloff.

The family would like to thank Betty’s caretakers over the last few months of her life from Highland Farms Retirement Community, Westminster Winter Park and Vitas Hospice Care.  A memorial service and celebration of Betty’s life will be held at Westminster Winter Park on Saturday, June 3 at 2:00 pm.  In lieu of flowers donations can be made to the Gwynn Valley Campership Foundation.