Former President And CEO Of U.S. Sugar Corp Dies At 96
CLEWISTON, FL. -- Former Chairman and President of U.S. Sugar Corp, John Boy has died.
John B. Boy, age 96, of LaBelle, passed away peacefully July 16, 2013 in Lehigh Acres. He was born March 17, 1917 in Johnson City, TN. to David C. and Kathleen Boy and was the second of three brothers.
He graduated from Georgia Tech with a degree in mechanical engineering. During his time at Georgia Tech, John was on the Honor Roll, a member of Omicron Delta Kappa and Tau Beta Pi, Phi Eta Sigma, Bulldog Club, Pi Delta Epsilon, A.S.M.E, Skull and Key, Interfraternity Council, Technique Editor in Chief, Yellowjacket, Blue Print, Student Council, ANAK Vice-President and Athletic Association Student Member.
Following graduation, he worked for Proctor and Gamble at the Buckeye Oil Company until WWII broke out and at that time enlisted in the U. S. Navy. He served our nation throughout the entire war and became the Captain of three different ships -a subchaser, USS C350, a patrolcraft, USS PC613 and destroyer escort, the USS Holton, DE-703.
John and his crew from the USS Holton held annual reunions that were filled with great passion and memories of their younger years. While in the Navy on assignment in Miami, John met and married the love of his life, Nancy Adams, who predeceased him.
Shortly after the war, John went to work for United States Sugar Corporation in 1946. Through his engineering ingenuity, he improved the efficiency and productivity of sugar cane harvesting by converting/redesigning track mounted tractors to rubber tires which was combined with his successful redesign of sugar cane loading machines.
Those redesigns allowed the Florida sugar cane industry to begin a process of mass production in the fields and factories which ultimately led to the size and efficiency of today's industry.
John later became Executive Vice President of the Corporation in 1961 which led to his promotion to President/CEO in 1970, a position he held until his retirement in 1987. He became Vice-Chairman of the Board of Directors at that time.
Under his leadership, the Corporation not only prospered by tripling its production, but he led the way in charitable giving to the surrounding communities of swimming pools, youth centers, an auditorium, day care facilities, housing projects and multiple scholarship programs.
Two of his proudest achievements during his tenure as President were the creation of an Employee Stock Ownership Plan whereby the employees would own 47% of the Corporation and the commencement of the diversification of the Corporation into the growing/processing of citrus.
John was the beloved and respected leader of the sugar industry as noted by the numerous accolades that he accumulated and/or achieved during his career which included "Sugar Man of the Year', Florida Agriculture Hall of Fame, Honorary Doctor of Humanities-Florida Atlantic University, "White Hat" award by Agribusiness Institute, President of the Florida Sugar Cane League, President of the Florida Sugar Marketing and Terminal Association, State Director of Florida Chamber of Commerce, Council of 100, Florida Land Council, Florida Farm Bureau, 1975 Citizen of the Year for Clewiston, Florida and Dedication of the Sugar Festival in 1992.
Clewiston's civic auditorium, located within sight of the U.S. Sugar plant is named after Mr. Boy.
He is survived by daughter: Betsy Terrill (Jim), sons: John Boy, Jr. (Connie) and H. Lane Boy, grandchildren: Jamie Terrill, Christopher Smith, Jennifer Price, Suzanne Boy, Stephanie Crawford, Rachael Boy and ten great-grandchildren.
Visitation will be held Thursday, July 18, 2013 from 6-8 p.m. at Akin-Davis Funeral Home in Clewiston, Florida. The Funeral Service will be held Friday, July 19, 2013, 11:00 a.m. at Evangel Assembly of God, Clewiston, Florida with Rev. Samuel Thomas Ph.D. officiating.
Interment will follow at Ridgelawn Cemetery in Clewiston. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Hendry Regional Medical Center Foundation, 544 West Sugarland Hwy, Clewiston, FL 33440.