Mary Jane Boyd leads a life of empathy, activism

Service in community is Mary Jane Boyd’s mantra, and in her hometown of Solana Beach, her service has made an impact.

Boyd’s work with the Friends of the Solana Beach Library, four years as president of the board, championed positive changes. On her watch, the Friends Night Out and the Solana Beach Read programs were established.

She also helped bring art to the library.

“We were given a beautiful sculpture of a horse by a donor in the community, which is now on permanent display inside the library,” Boyd said. This led to regular exhibitions in the library and ultimately to Boyd’s other project, to have art displayed on the library’s exterior. A mural by artist Christie Beniston was recently installed and will be dedicated soon.

“It’s good to see your work come to fruition,” Boyd said. “But I had a great board; we all worked together to make this happen.”

With her husband, Roger, Boyd became active in Safer Solana Beach, a group that addressed the safety issues at the freeway interchange on Lomas Santa Fe Drive where pedestrians and cyclists compete with traffic.

“We brought awareness that resulted in some restriping of road lanes, new signs and an extension of the concrete median. The city and Caltrans were very co-operative, and it made this area safer for all users,” Boyd said.

The Boyds have also been very involved with CERT — Community Emergency Response Team.

“We took that training through the city some years ago, then most recently after the Witch Creek fires, we went to visit the Del Mar Fairgrounds facilities. Roger suggested the site be designated an official shelter, so with the cooperation of the 22nd DAA, it happened. We both took shelter training, so now in an emergency, the authorities are able to call on us to assist in human evacuation efforts.”

A life of empathy and activism developed when Boyd graduated from the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg in 1960, with dual degrees in nursing and child psychology. In the 1990s, Boyd volunteered and did a lot of work for the HIV community. Boyd helped start Fraternity House, a residential facility for terminal HIV and AIDS patients.

“My nephew died of AIDS in 1991, and this spurred me to help those suffering,” she said.

Looking for new ways to serve, Boyd most recently was appointed secretary for the newly created Lions Club.

“It’s for the combined cities of Solana Beach and Del Mar, the Del-Sol Lions Club. We currently have 27 members, enough to start the charter to make it official,” Boyd explained. “This is a great way for me to continue to give back to our community.”

If you’d like to share your stories about the personalities, places or events — past or present — that have shaped the culture of Solana Beach or Del Mar, e-mail Diane Y. Welch at and your story may be included in her next Meet Your Neighbor column.

Related posts:

  1. Community help sought for next disaster
  2. Lions Club forms Del Mar/Solana Beach chapter
  3. Crystal Crawford leads regional quality of life panel for San Diego County
  4. Relay for Life this weekend in Solana
  5. Young explorers discover marine life

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