Boyd E Christenberry
March 12, 1928 – November 28, 2019
Boyd Eugene Christenberry, 91, a beloved Montgomery resident, passed into Heaven on November 28, 2019. Oh how we will miss him, but our balm is his and our assurance of a sure and certain resurrection in His Lord Jesus Christ….in theory no more, but in reality this day.
Growing up the son of a sharecropper, one of Boyd Christenberry’s boyhood jobs was to help his Daddy plow the fields. As he plodded behind the mule on hot summer days, he noticed the mailman and the Alabama Extension agent driving past the field, leaving a plume of road dust behind. But the passengers of those cars had a respite from the heat as they tilted the little triangular window in the car just so to catch the breeze and direct it to their faces. That daily vision sparked a dream in that little plowboy’s heart that if he could ever have one of those jobs, he would have it made. Boyd made that dream a reality when he graduated from Alabama Polytechnic Institute, now Auburn University, with a BS degree in Agriculture Science in 1950, finishing college just shy of 3 years and taking a job with the Alabama Extension service. In 1956, Ed Lowder hired Boyd to work at Farm Bureau Insurance, now ALFA, where he rose through the ranks to become the Executive Vice President of Marketing until his retirement in 1993. At his retirement, he owned his own car fully equipped with an air conditioner and electric windows.
Boyd Christenberry was born at home on March 12, 1928 in Morgan Springs, near Marion in Perry County, Alabama, 4th in line of 6 children to Johnnie and Alieze Christenberry. He worked hard on the farm and never felt their poverty, but was nurtured by love, hard work, and companionship of his family and community neighbors. As a boy, Boyd was active in the 4-H program, eventually rising to President of the organization, a pattern that would follow his work and community service all his life.
At age 18, Boyd left home to serve his country in Korea. After returning home from his Army service, he asked his brother’s girlfriend to find him a date. She introduced Boyd to Sara Hunt, The Bibb County Homecoming Queen and beautiful Judson student. On their first date, Boyd and Sara strolled through the magnolias of Marion; Boyd went home that night and told his Mama he had met the girl he was going to marry….and he did on June 17, 1951. Ultimately, Boyd and Sara had 5 children and Boyd is survived by Sara, their 5 children: Bob Christenberry (Tibby), Kathy Loomis (Steve), Chris Anderson (Mark), Bill Christenberry (Kim), Joe Christenberry (Laura), 22 grandchildren, and 27 great grandchildren.
Beyond his work and family life, Boyd was a consummate community leader, rising to Chairman/President of many of the organizations he served. As a young man he was founder and first president of Toastmasters in Talladega Alabama; Chairman of the United Way Fund campaign, Cancer Crusade, Heart Fund, President of the Cloverdale Jr. High PTA, and Vice President of the Dannelly Elementary PTA.
Boyd’s Board service included the Alabama 4-H Foundation, ALFA, Marion Military Institute Trustee, Camp ASCA, Alabama Men’s Hall of Fame, LIMRA (Life Insurance Marketing and Research Association), Colonial Bank, Alabama Baptist Foundation, and he served as Board Chairman and life member for Samford University and Montgomery Metro YMCA.
Throughout his family, work, and community life, he remained an active and committed member of his Church. In Montgomery, he attended and served through First Baptist Church and called all of his pastors friends: Dr. J.R. White, Dr. L. Dale Huff, and Dr. Jay Wolf. Dr. White said of Boyd, “This man has served his church in more different spots of lay leadership than any man in our church”. Beyond that, and especially in his latter years, Boyd’s favorite reading material was his Bible(s). He always said, “You can always love someone more by getting to know them better” and he loved getting to know Jesus better each day, especially in the autumn of his life.
Boyd received many honors throughout his life and was the subject of a book authored by J. Paul Till, entitled Achieving Balance. That title sums up the essence of Boyd’s life, balancing his faith, family, community service, and work life to provide a full life for his family, while blessing so many others along his life path. Borrowing Robert Ingersoll’s words, “He added to the sum of human joy; and were every one to whom he did some loving service to bring a blossom to his grave, he would sleep tonight beneath a wilderness of flowers”. The scripture reminds us “It is required of a steward that he be found faithful”. Boyd Christenberry was; let us bless his memory and strive to live as the Christ he followed and in Whom he finds his eternal rest.
Our deepest thanks to those angels who have cared so kindly for Daddy: Vernita Jennings of Jennings Professional Services, Joyce Daniels, Margaret Davie, Sandra Ross, and Cynthia Steele. You are now in the fabric of our family.
Funeral services will be held at Stakely Sanctuary First Baptist Church, Montgomery Alabama on Wednesday, December 4th at 11:00 AM. Visitation will be held in the Church Parlor (Scott Street Entrance) at 10:00 AM. Dr. Jay Wolf and Dr. Dale Huff will officiate the service. The family invites you to send any memorial gifts to the First Baptist Church Foundation or the Montgomery Metro YMCA.
- Vistation Wednesday, December 4, 2019
- Memorial Service Wednesday, December 4, 2019
Boyd E Christenberry
December 3, 2019
So thankful for the opportunity to count Boyd Christenberry as a friend and a brother in Christ. We met through his service to Samford University. Even after I retired, we stayed in touch. He and Mrs. Christenberry are loved by me and many others. I look forward to seeing him again, one day, in glory!