Hill City publisher Bob Boyd dead at 81

April 10, 2017

Robert Alexander “Bob” Boyd, of Hill City, Kansas, passed away peacefully at home on April 7, 2017, at the age of 81.

Bob was born in Topeka, Kansas, on July 19, 1935, the oldest of Mary (Dexter) Boyd and Francis “Bus” Boyd’s four children. He graduated from Mankato High School in 1953 and continued on to Kansas State College (now Kansas State University), receiving a degree in Journalism in 1957. While at K-State, he was a member of Beta Theta Pi Fraternity, the K-State men’s basketball team as a player then manager during the Tex Winter era, and the K-State baseball team.

After completing his Reserve Officers’ Training (ROTC) at K-State, Bob was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the United States Air Force. Later promoted to Captain, he served as a Navigator and Electronic Warfare officer, flying in the B-57 Canberra. In 1961, Bob joined the family newspaper business and moved to Hill City to run The Hill City Times. He was later joined by his brother-in-law and business partner, Jim Logback. He was a publisher and an editor of The Hill City Times for 56 years. Bob was a natural salesman and continued his love of selling ads for the newspaper up until a few days before his death.

Bob married Diane Heim on May 30, 1970. To this union were born four daughters: Valerie, Suzie, Robyn, and Kristin. As an avid poker player, Bob often stated of his daughters, “Four of a kind beats a full house.” Bob’s family grew to include 15 grandchildren who brought their Papa much joy.

Growing up, Bob was a multi-sport athlete, but his favorite sport was always baseball. Beyond high school, Bob played baseball for Kansas State lettering in all three of his eligible years with the team. He then played professional ball for the Washington Senators organization (now known as the Minnesota Twins). After returning to Western Kansas, he was able to continue playing baseball, joining the Hays Larks. He was on this team until he was 40. His four daughters also have fond memories of attending and “assisting” their dad as he coached several of Hill City’s American Legion and K-18 teams. When his playing days were over, one of his favorite activities was watching and listening to the Hill City Ringnecks, the Kansas State Wildcats, any of his children’s and grandchildren’s teams, and the Kansas City Royals.

After his family, nothing meant more to Bob than the people of the High Plains of Western Kansas and especially the community of Hill City. He carried on his parents’ philosophy, “As long as we live in a town, it is the best town in the world and it is our job to help make it better.” Thus, he was actively engaged in the promotion of Graham County. Important to him also was his involvement over the years with the Hill City Rotary Club whose motto, “Service Above Self” he took to heart. He was a member of the Hill City United Methodist Church, the Hill City Elks Lodge, served on the Northwest Kansas Groundwater Management District Board, and was a former member of both the Kansas Citizens Commission on Drug and Alcohol Abuse and the Kansas Justice Commission. Continuing his love of sports and community, he donated land for the Hill City Ball Complex and the basketball goals in City Park.

He is survived by his wife of the home, Diane, his four daughters and their spouses and 15 grandchildren: Valerie Kalny and husband, Ben and children: Noah, Eli, Holli Jane, and Lilly, Lake Quivira, Kansas; Suzie McDowell and husband, Wade and children: Lexie, Aaron, and Brody, Hill City; Robyn Cathcart and husband, Aubrey and children: Abigail, A.J., Amarie, and Augie, Overland Park, Kansas; and Kristin Kemerling and husband Erik and children: Lauren, Annabelle, Quinn, and Levi, Greenwood, Indiana.  Other survivors include, brother, Dick Boyd and wife, Mary Beth, Norton, Kansas; sister Betty James and husband, Wynne, Bethesda, Maryland; brother-in-law, Jim Logback, Hill City; in-laws, Val and Betty Heim, Superior, Nebraska; brother-in-law Val Heim and wife, Melody, Sterling, Colorado; and five nephews and three nieces and their families. His parents and sister, Frances Logback, preceded him in death.

Funeral services will be Saturday, April 15, 2017, at 11 a.m. at the Hill City United Methodist Church, Rev. Larry Brock officiating. Burial will follow in the Memorial Lawn Cemetery, Hill City. Visitation will be held from 2 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Friday, April 14 at the Stinemetz Funeral Home with the family present to receive friends from 6 to 7:30 p.m.  

Memorials are suggested to the Hill City Ball Complex or the Hill City United Methodist Church in care of Stinemetz Funeral Home, 522 North Pomeroy Ave., Hill City, KS 67642.