Jimmy Lavon (Jim) Boyd, 78, of Orange, died Thursday, April 1, 2010, at Loving Care Assisted Living in Orange after a 10 year battle with Alzheimer’s. Visitation will begin 2 p.m., Monday, April 5, with a funeral service beginning at 4 p.m. at Claybar Funeral Home Chapel in Orange. Officiating will be the Rev. David Berkheimer with a eulogy by son-in-law, Gilbert Mazzola. Burial will follow at Hillcrest Memorial Gardens near Bridge City.

Born April 19, 1931, in Pittsburg, Texas,  Jim was preceded in death by his wife of 51 years, Rachel Ann (Sanders) Boyd; his parents, Fred and Ella Mae Boyd; and sister, Mary Padgett, all of Pittsburg.

He is survived by his sister, Dene Huddleston and her husband, Lester of Lake Tyler; daughters, Debbie (Boyd) Mazzola and her husband, Gilbert of Orange, Cheryl (Boyd) Simar and her husband, Danny of Baton Rouge, La.; granddaughters, Amanda Mazzola Goss and her husband, Henry, Emily Mazzola, all of Beaumont, and Laney (Simar) Sanders and her husband, Judson of Baton Rouge.

He is also survived by a great-grandson, Ethan Goss of Beaumont; great-granddaughter, Shelby Sanders of Baton Rouge; niece, Nickie Propes of Henderson; and nephew, Rudy Huddleston of Lake Tyler.

After working at American Petrofina in Pittsburg for 10 years, Jim and his family moved to Tyler in 1962, where he opened and worked at his own fabrication shop for several more years. In 1966, Jim and his family moved to Orange where he became employed at Levingston Shipbuilding Co. as a welder, and later became a welding foreman. Upon the closing of Levingston, he and Rachel Ann transferred to Brookhaven, Pa. in 1983 to work for Pennsylvania Shipbuilding Co. (a sister company to Levingston) in Chester, Pa. where he was a welding superintendent before retiring in 1988.

Returning to Orange in 1988 at retirement, Jim looked forward to resuming his life with his daughters and granddaughters who were most important to him. He was an avid sportsman who enjoyed hunting, fishing and watching all sports, especially baseball and boxing. For as long as he was able, he played poker weekly and belonged to a local poker club with his friends. He loved nature, gardening and raising roses that he shared with family and friends.
Jim will long be remembered for his unique sense of humor, his active lifestyle and full throttle approach to doing everything, his pride and love of his hometown Pittsburg, Texas. He had a special bond with his three granddaughters and made lasting memories with them.

The family would like to thank Ladonna Marks and Betty Alexander of Loving Care Assisted Living for their hard work, kindness and compassion shown Jim during his stay; Brenda Honeycutt and Christy Fall of Southeast Texas Hospice for their medical and spiritual support; and Irona (Tibby) Mazzola for her loyalty and devotion to Jim and Rachel Ann during their lives and their illnesses. The family would also like to thank all those special people who expressed their love and prayers to Jim and his family in his final days.

Serving as pallbearers will be Scott Hasty, Sam Hasty, Benny Mazzola IV, Judson Sanders, Henry Goss, and Gilbert Mazzola. Honorary pallbearers will be Danny Simar, Jim Hasty, Buck Fletcher, Nolan Foreman and Steven Mazzola.