January 3, 1933 – November 6, 2012
Paul Boyd Mather passed away on November 6, 2012 at Wesley Acres Health Center, surrounded by his loving family, from complications of pneumonia. He had waged a courageous battle against Alzheimer’s disease for almost seven years.
Boyd was born in rural Atchison County, Missouri on January 3, 1933. His parents, Paul and Helen Mather, were tenant farmers. Boyd was educated first in country schools, then attended Tarkio High School, graduating in 1951. He then went on to earn his Bachelor’s degree at Tarkio College, where he also lettered in football for four years. It was also at Tarkio where he met Darlene (Dee) Geiger of Waterloo, Iowa, who was to become his wife of 55 years. They married after graduation and moved to Evanston, Illinois, where Boyd earned his Master of Divinity degree from Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary at Northwestern University. Boyd also was an assistant editor at the Christian Century magazine during this time. Their son Steven was born in Evanston.
Boyd and Dee then moved to Tama, Iowa, where Boyd began a career of pastoral service to the Iowa Conference of the United Methodist Church that was to last 33 years. Their son David was born in Tama. Boyd then moved on to serve churches in Coggon, Sibley, and Dubuque, Iowa, while also earning his Ph.D. in Biblical Studies from the University of Chicago. He served as parliamentarian for the United Methodist Annual Conference, with an interest in civil rights issues and social justice. While in Dubuque, Boyd temporarily left parish ministry to teach at the University of Dubuque Theological Seminary and the Schools of Theology in Dubuque, which included Wartburg Seminary and Aquinas Institute. He was appointed to direct the Doctor of Ministry program there. During his residency in Dubuque, Boyd also was busy with family life, supporting his sons’ school activities and education and Dee’s education and teaching career.
In 1985, Boyd and Dee moved to Des Moines, Iowa as Boyd became director of the Iowa Inter-Church Forum. Following the closing of the Forum, he finished his pastoral career with appointments at Maple Grove United Methodist Church and Christ United Methodist Church. He also taught religion and philosophy courses at Des Moines Area Community College. During his retirement, and during his career, Boyd traveled widely with both Dee and family, eventually touching down on all seven continents. He served as a delegate to United Methodist Church General Conference four times, led study group tours to the Holy Land three times, and taught School of Mission programs all over the United States and in Melbourne, Australia.
Boyd was a warm, generous person and a loving husband, father and grandfather. It is a tribute to his strength of character that Alzheimer’s disease did not change this. He was a strong Iowa Hawkeye fan, also supporting the Chicago Cubs and Minnesota Vikings. He is survived by his wife, Dee (Geiger) of 55 years; sons, Steven (Kristen) of Urbandale and David (Elizabeth) of St. Paul, Minnesota. He is also survived by his sister, Mary Mather (Dave Tully) of Harvest, Alabama. He was devoted to his grandchildren, Isabel Mather of St. Paul, and Kieran and Alexandra Mather of Urbandale. He was preceded in death by his parents, Paul and Helen Mather of Atchison County, Missouri; his brother, Larry of Tarkio, Missouri and brother Denny of Lautzenhausen, Germany. The family wishes to thank the staff at the Wesley Acres Health Center and Dr. Robert Bender and staff of the Healthy Aging and Memory Center for their care of Boyd.
Services will be held 2:00 p.m. Saturday, November 10 at Iles Funeral Homes-Dunn’s Chapel followed by visitation with the family until 4:00 p.m. Burial will be 2:00 p.m. Sunday, November 11 at Maplewood Cemetery in Vinton, Iowa. Memorials can be made in lieu of flowers to the Healthy Aging and Memory Center in West Des Moines or the Wesley Acres Good Samaritan fund in Des Moines.
…..the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith. 2nd Timothy 4:6-7
Arrangements by Iles Funeral Homes ~ Dunn’s Chapel.Information provided by: Iles Funeral Homes Dunn’s Chapel 2121 Grand Ave Des Moines, IA 50312 www.ilesfuneralhomes.com