David Boyd, a former owner at Russell Farms Market, died on Sept. 24.  (Photo Submitted)

David Boyd, a former owner at Russell Farms Market, died on Sept. 24. (Photo Submitted)

Former owner of Cowichan Valley’s Russell Farms Market, David Boyd, dies

David Boyd ran business along with Russell Stewart

Another icon at Russell Farms Market has died.

David Boyd, who owned and operated the market part of the business for many years, died on Sept. 24 in Victoria’s Royal Jubilee Hospital after a long battle with Parkinson’s disease.

Boyd’s death comes a little more than a year after Russell Stewart, his cousin and long-time partner at the business, which operates near Mount Sicker Road on the Trans Canada Highway, died last summer.

Michelle Boyd, Boyd’s daughter-in-law, said he and Stewart were like brothers for much of their lives. She said Boyd was in charge of the market itself, while Stewart was in charge of the rest of the operations at the farm.

“He told me that the saddest day of his life was when he had to sell the market to Russell about three years ago, soon after he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease,” Michelle said.

“I know there are many people who loved Dave very much as he was the person you would always be greeted by with a smile and a silly joke when you arrived at the market to grab your fruits and vegetables.”

As a youth, Boyd lived in Vancouver, but spent every summer with Stewart and his mother Kate working the farm and at the market.

Boyd’s first business on the Island was Chase River Market, and he took over the market end of Russell Farms Market in the 1980s when Kate was too old to continue the job.

Michelle said he was forced to sell his part of the business and his home after he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.

Boyd then moved to Victoria to be closer to family.

“Dave was heartbroken to have to leave the business,” Michelle said. “He would talk about it and his customers every day right up to the day he died.”

A celebration of life was held for Boyd Saturday at the Royal Canadian Legion in Chemainus.