A Belated Personal Memoriam for Dr. C. Clifford Boyd

by Tracy C. Brown

Dr. Cliff Boyd

Another friend of mine from the old days of Tennessee archaeology—-Dr. C.  Clifford Boyd —–has died. His death occurred on March 9, 2021 after a long battle with cancer. The Archaeology in Tennessee blog and I would like to express our deepest love and condolences to Cliff’s surviving wife (Dr. Donna C. Boyd), the rest of his family members, and his many friends and acquaintances.

My last personal interaction with Cliff was a friendly e-mail exchange and a telephone call with him about one of our old friends who worked on the Tellico Archaeology Project in the late 1970s and early 1980s. At that time, much to my shock, Cliff was hospitalized with a very bad case of shingles. We chatted a bit about that because I too suffered from a milder, but still excruciating, case of shingles way back in 2011.  Despite being so sick, Cliff was in an amazingly good mood, and I no doubt offered him my classic piece of humor about shingles:

Well, Cliff. You can at least be thankful it was not a case of vinyl siding.

If he had cancer at that time, best I can recall, he did not mention it to me. This is one reason I was so surprised and shocked to hear about his death. Unfortunately, I did not hear anything about his death until just a few days ago.

I do not measure American archaeologists and physical anthropologists by the bloat of their curriculum vitae or the lengths of their publication lists. Rather, I measure them by the content of their personal character—–meaning how genuine, truthful, kind, loving, compassionate, and supportive they are with the many people they encounter as they pass through this life on planet Earth. Cliff may have been short in physical stature, but he was a true giant as a human being who kindly loved and cared for his fellow human beings. I will always remember him for that alone, although his archaeological accomplishments in Tennessee and Virginia were formidable. The same can be truthfully said of Donna Boyd. In all of my life, I have never known two anthropologists of better personal character.

You may read a lengthy and detailed obituary for Dr. Cliff Boyd by clicking on the following safe link and scrolling down when you get there:

Obituary for Dr. Cliff Boyd

Photograph Credit: Radford University

1 thought on “A Belated Personal Memoriam for Dr. C. Clifford Boyd

  1. Dave McMahan

    Well said Tracy. I wish I had kept up with Cliff. He was one of the good guys.

    Sent from my iPhone


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