Francis “Boyd” Latchaw Jr.

Francis “Boyd” Latchaw Jr.

Francis “Boyd” Latchaw Jr.
January 31, 1927 – June 8, 2019
Oskaloosa, Iowa | Age 92

Francis Boyd Latchaw, age 92, of Oskaloosa,was called Home to Heaven on June 8, 2019 at the North Mahaska Care Center in Oskaloosa. He was born January 31, 1927 in Franklin, Pennsylvania, the son of Francis Boyd and Sadie Pearl Latchaw.

Boyd attended grade school and part of high school at Utica, Pennsylvania, and graduated from Franklin High School in May of 1944 earning All-State honors in football. After high school, Boyd played in the Western PA Hayrake Amateur Baseball League and worked at Joy Manufacturing Company in Franklin, as a clerk and supervisor, and as a salesman and clerk for a locally-owned business Ramsdale & Kunkel.

In May of 1949 he came to personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Shortly thereafter he was licensed to preach by the First Baptist Church of Franklin, Pennsylvania. Two years later he sensed a call to prepare for Christian ministry and in January of 1952 he began study at the Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, Illinois, enrolled in the Pastor’s Course.
Boyd met Janette Fry at Moody Bible Institute. He would often remark how he was drawn to her by her intense love for God and others and her unwavering commitment to serve God wherever He would lead. They both graduated from Moody Bible Institute in 1955 and were married June 18th at the Community Evangelical Church in Baltimore, Maryland.

Soon Boyd and Jan contacted the Sudan Interior Mission about missionary opportunities in Africa. After five years of additional study and work to prepare for a missionary assignment, Boyd graduated from Wheaton College in August of 1959 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Social Studies with a Teacher’s Certificate for grades 7-12.

When all preparations were completed, Boyd was ordained at Wheaton Bible Church in October of 1960. On Dec. 26, 1960, he and Janette, with two young sons (Alan and Bryan), left the United States for assignment in Kagoro, Nigeria, West Africa.

Boyd began his missionary duties serving as a high school teacher at the Secondary School in Kagoro, Nigeria. Two years later, he taught at Hillcrest School in Jos. His final assignment came at Kent Academy in Miango, a school for children of S.I.M. missionaries. There he served as a teacher and as the school Principal.

Boyd and Jan returned to the States in 1965. While earning his Master’s degree from Northern Illinois University, he taught and served as guidance counselor Sandburg Jr. High in Elmhurst, IL. While his teaching career offered some rewards, Boyd longed for opportunities of more direct, hands-on Christian ministry. That opportunity came along in 1969 when Boyd was invited to take a position of Chaplain at Cal Farley’s Boys Ranch near Amarillo, Texas.

There he provided teaching, preaching, Bible memory camp programs, and spiritual guidance and counseling to staff and residents. In 1977 they moved to Valparaiso, Indiana, to begin working for the Moody Bible Institute as a Stewardship Representative and Visitation Pastor for the Midwest Region. He served in two other stewardship positions (with Back to the Bible and Child Evangelism Fellowship) which allowed Janette to travel and serve with Boyd. For twenty-two years, Boyd ministered to the constituents and prayer supporters of these Christian organizations, before retiring in May of 1998.

In 2002, Boyd and Janette moved to Oskaloosa, Iowa.
While Boyd did not pursue typical hobbies, he was deeply devoted to his interest in the Bible, Theology, reading, visiting and serving others, and sharing his Faith. Boyd served as volunteers in several areas of ministry at Fellowship Bible Church and Central Reformed Church, believing that “One who serves God never retires.”

Boyd always strived to live out his life with a sense of purpose and meaning, not only with an eternal focus but also by meeting day-to-day challenges and entering in to the lives of those he met – always with an intent to communicate God’s love and the hope God alone can give.

Boyd discovered many valuable lessons over his years of learning and service. He learned that faith has authentic meaning and touches every area of one’s life. He believed that one’s faith was a reflection of the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. It is the Holy Spirit who takes the Word of God and teaches us how to walk by faith. He knew and lived that truth one can come to God only through Jesus Christ by faith alone and grace alone and that in life and in death, the child of God is sustained, strengthened, and set apart by the Holy Spirit.

One important lesson was acquired while a student at Moody Bible Institute. This lesson remained with him throughout the rest of his life and was the driving motivator in all is relationships. The lesson is based in his favorite Bible passage, 2 Corinthians 5:11-21 which tells of the transformation of life that takes place when God, in Christ, by the Holy spirit, changes the heart, mind, and will of a sinner – giving each one who responds a new desire and an empowerment to live a purposeful life to the glory of God. He knew and lived out the truth that we are reconciled to God through Christ and we must live as Christ’s ambassadors and strive to be “reconcilers”.

He is survived by his two sons: Alan Latchaw, his former wife Christine; grandson, Aaron (& Jessica) Latchaw, great grandson Benjamin Wyatt all of Ft. Worth, Texas; and Bryan (& Betty Ann) Latchaw and grandchildren, Bob (& Brittany) Latchaw, Matt (& Lyric) Latchaw, and Jana Latchaw of Oskaloosa, Iowa; and Jana’s fiancé Andrew Milbourn of Overland Park, KS.

Boyd was preceded in death by his wife, Janette (at the time of her death, they had been married 58 years); three brothers: Merle, Earl, and Arnold Latchaw; and his mother and father, Sadie Pearl and Francis Boyd Latchaw, Sr.

Funeral services will be held Thursday, June 13, 2019, at 10:30 a.m. in the Central Reformed Church in Oskaloosa with Reverends Jon Nelson and Bryan Latchaw officiating.
Burial will be in the Old Log Cemetery at Barkeyville, Pennsylvania, at a later date. There will be a family prayer service at 10:15 Friday morning in the east lounge of the church.
Visitation will begin Wednesday after 12 p.m. in the Bates Funeral Chapel and the family will be at the funeral chapel of Thursday from 5-7 p.m. to greet friends and relatives.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorials be made to the Boyd Latchaw Memorial Fund which will be given to help support the missionaries at REAP Grenada/AIM and Phil and Ruth Ann Luessi at NOVO/CRM.

To send flowers or a memorial gift to the family of Francis “Boyd” Latchaw Jr. please visit the Bates Funeral Chapel Sympathy Store.

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