Israel Boykins II, a Korean War veteran and a retired Metropolitan Transportation Authority worker, died April 26 at home in Roosevelt after a brief illness. He was 82.
“He really died of a broken heart,” said his oldest daughter, Ruby Boykins, of Uniondale. “He had been declining since the death of my mother last year. They had been married 61 years and had been high school sweethearts.”
Boykins, from Minter, Alabama, served in the Army from 1952 through 1953, seeing combat in Korea as an infantryman. Shortly after his discharge, he returned home and married Ruby Mae Lawyer. He and his family moved to New York in 1957, living first in the Bronx and then in Brooklyn before moving to Roosevelt in 1970.
The family said he served in a variety of jobs, including barber, baker and auto mechanic before going to work with the MTA as a station clerk in 1968. He retired from that job in 1993.
“My dad was one of 12 children, and family was a big deal to him,” his daughter said. “He was old school, a man of his word, and if you needed help, he would be there for you.”
His other daughter, Evelyn Boykins, of Atlanta, said her father was “really a farmer at heart, growing a garden every year. He was also a news and politics junkie, especially from television and the newspapers.”
Other survivors include his son, Israel III, of Roosevelt; two brothers, James Boykins, of Yonkers, and Isiah Boykins, of Minter; two sisters, Kate Boykins, of Flushing, and Ida Boykins, of Minter; one grandchild; four great-grandchildren; and three great-great grandchildren.
A viewing will be from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday at the Carl C. Burnett Funeral Home in Hempstead, where a funeral service will immediately follow. Boykins will be cremated.