Boyd attended California State University, Fullerton, said David Sapia, executive vice president and partner at Sunrise Produce.
During the 1970s, Boyd worked for Coco’s Bakery Restaurant and the Rusty Pelican, two Southern California restaurant chains.
He joined G&G Produce Co., Los Angeles, in 1981 and spent more than 10 years as a field merchandiser before moving onto JC Produce LLC, West Sacramento, Calif., as an account executive from 1993-2006.
Boyd began working for Sunrise Produce in 2006, but never lost sight of his commitment to education.
“(Teaching) is what he loved to do,” Sapia said. “He had all the patience in the world when it came to working with people and trying to help them.”
Boyd managed much of Sunrise Produce’s corporate business and mentored sales people.
He also was the go-to person when Sunrise Produce conducted seminars, such as a recent one on food safety handling and receiving in Pasadena, Calif., Sapia said.
“He literally was my right-hand man. Whatever I had going on, Russell was involved,” he said.
Because of his restaurant and teaching background, Boyd was involved in programs and seminars hosted by the Fresh Produce & Florida Council and United Fresh Produce Association.
In addition, he was active in the California School Nutrition Association and the California Restaurant Association, Sapia said.
Boyd is survived by his wife, Meryl, and five children.
Donations may be made in Boyd’s name to the American Heart Association or the Surfrider Foundation.