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Boyd George Novinger, 77, was killed in his Bedford, Iowa home on Saturday, December 27, 1997.
Novinger’s son-in-law and business partner, H. Keith Taylor, was first on scene and told officials he found his father-in-law’s body the following Sunday afternoon.
An autopsy concluded Novinger died from gunshot wounds to the chest.
Novinger, a funeral director with the Novinger-Taylor Funeral Home in Bedford, had worked in the family-operated funeral home business for the past 50 years. Formerly known as the Shum-Novinger Funeral Home, Novinger worked at Novinger-Taylor with his daughter, Christy, and her husband Keith.
Law enforcement officials working the case included agents from the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) and the Taylor County Sheriff’s Department.
In an email to Iowa Cold Cases dated June 8, 2012, Novinger’s daughter Christy said she still had many questions. Four different death certificates, she said, were issued in the six months following her father’s murder.
A $2,500 reward the family offered for information leading to an arrest and conviction in the case went unclaimed.
When the Iowa DCI established a Cold Case Unit in 2009, Boyd Novinger’s murder was one of approximately 150 cases listed on the Cold Case Unit’s new website as those the DCI hoped to solve using latest advancements in DNA technology.
Although federal grant funding for the DCI Cold Case Unit was exhausted in December 2011, the DCI continues to assign agents to investigate cold cases as new leads develop or as technological advances allow for additional forensic testing of original evidence.
The DCI remains committed to the resolution of Iowa’s cold cases and will continue to work diligently with local law enforcement partners to bring the perpetrators of these crimes to justice for the victims and their families.
Boyd George Novinger, son of Fred Schultz Novinger and Sylvia Belle Bloom Novinger, was born at New Market, Iowa, on November 19, 1920.
He attended the New Market public schools, and in 1941 enlisted with the U.S. Navy, serving aboard the U.S.S. Honolulu in the South Pacific and also receiving the Navy Unit Commendation Medal.
He married Wilma Doris Shum on March 17, 1944, and the two made their home in San Diego, California. Following his 1947 departure from the Navy, the couple returned to Bedford where he joined her parents in the funeral business.
Boyd and Wilma Novinger had one child — daughter Christy Lu, who married Keith Taylor. Christy and Keith had three biological sons, Boyd Keith (B.K.), Mark James and Samuel Lee, and adopted 28-year-old Bruce Kevin Ebrecht in 1997.
Boyd Novinger served the community of Bedford as a funeral director for 50 years.
He was a member of John F. Hardin Post 164, Bedford American Legion, Taylor Lodge #156 AF & AM, VFW Post 11443, and the Bedford United Methodist Church.
He was preceded in death by his parents, his wife, and one grandson, Benjamin Lee.
Survivors included his daughter Christy and her husband Keith of Bedford; grandchildren B.K., Mark, Sam, and Kevin; six great-grandchildren; brother Gordon and wife Mary of San Bernardino, CA; sister, Shirley Mitchiner of San Bernardino, CA; one aunt, Nora Bloom Morris of Bedford; four nephews and numerous cousins.
Funeral services were held at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 31, 1997 at the Novinger-Taylor Funeral Home in Bedford. Burial was at Fairview Cemetery. The family established a memorial in Novinger’s name.
Novinger’s son-in-law, H. Keith Taylor, passed away in October 2001 at age 58.