Boyd Albert Shumway


Boyd Albert Shumway, 88, died Feb. 16, 2006 in Payson. He was born a fourth generation Arizonan on July 12, 1917 in Shumway.

His parents, May and Albert Shumway, moved to Winslow in search of "Depression relief" employment with the Santa Fe Railway.

He attended Winslow High School and became a standout basketball player. This success as a hoop shooter earned him a full ride scholarship to Arizona State Teachers College (now Arizona State University).

After graduation he taught school and coached basketball in Clarkdale.

World War II lured him to take the aviation cadet exams to become a pilot. While waiting for acceptance and assignment, he hired out as a steam engine fireman on the Santa Fe. It was at this time he met a Santa Fe Courier nurse named Elizabeth "Betty" Widen. On Nov. 16, 1942 they were married in Chicago Heights, Ill. The day after the marriage, he was called to active duty as an aviation cadet. He was assigned with the 14th Air Force, Flying Tigers in the China Burma India Theater. He flew 50 co-pilot and 50 pilot combat missions. He was awarded two Distinguished Flying Crosses, an Air Medal and a Chinese medal along with other awards. At the end of his tour he came home and met his 9-month-old son for the first time.

After the war he returned to civilian life in Winslow. He and Ted Willey co-owned and operated (with help from Archie Meikle) a flying school at the Winslow airport. In 1949 and 1950 he returned to graduate school at ASU. The lure of higher wages, secure employment and the romance of the railroad called him back to Winslow to continue his career as a fireman and later as a locomotive engineer.

He is survived by his brother, Duane Shumway (Margarette); sister, Glenna English; children, Boyd Robert "Bob" Shumway (Claribel), Karin Elizabeth Gilbert (Ron), William "Bill" Widen Shumway (Nelda); grandchildren, Ethan, Isaac, Will, Michael, Amy, Clayton, Michelle and Joshua; 11 great-grandchildren; and many nieces, nephews and friends.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Betty; brother, Bob Shumway; and sister, Mayola Cardon.

Burial will be at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 21 at Winslow Cemetery. Friends and family are invited to attend a celebration of life luncheon at La Posada following interment.

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