Often enough, former Lincoln High School football coach Dick Zatkovich introduced Gil Boyd as “the man with no enemies.”
Conversely, he had plenty of friends made through five decades of teaching and coaching in the Tacoma Public Schools.
Boyd died Sunday morning surrounded by family at St. Joseph Medical Center after a bout with pneumonia. He was 70.
“He was the finest gentleman I had the opportunity to teach with, work with and know,” Zatkovich said. “Even with the worst of students, he always found something nice and positive in them.”
Never miss a local story.
A native of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Boyd attended Southern University before enlisting into the U.S. Air Force in 1964.
He ended up at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, eventually enrolling at the University of Puget Sound where he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in physical education.
Boyd’s first teaching job was at Hunt Junior High School where he coached ninth grade football.
In 1984, Boyd was hired as a PE teacher at Lincoln High School, and coached boys and girls track until 2004.
The Abes’ girls were Class 4A state runners-up to Snohomish in 1988.
After retiring in 2004, Boyd — known for his deep caring for students and his cheerful disposition — was not only a substitute teacher within the district, he also served as the athletic trainer for all of the school’s teams.
“The guy was absolute gold,” Zaktovich said. “He did not say a bad word about anybody. He just couldn’t. He was the most positive person around.”
A public viewing at Mountain View Funeral Home in Lakewood will take place from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday.
On Saturday, a morning (10 a.m.) memorial will be held at New Jerusalem Church of God in Christ in downtown Tacoma. The public is invited to attend.