Terrell Floyd was the kind of man who prized his 1979 Ford farm truck so much that even at age 90, he drove the truck 50 yards in the morning and another 50 yards at night just to drive it.
“He loved that truck more than life itself,” said his daughter, Hilda Rozier.
Floyd drove his wife, 83-year-old Docia Floyd, to a wooded area behind their home just outside Cochran about 10:30 a.m. Friday to dump some kitchen scraps, Rozier said.
Their son found the couple dead of apparent heat exhaustion Saturday morning near the truck.
Rozier said she remembers talking to her mother on the phone Wednesday and telling her not to let her father make his daily pilgrimage to the truck to move it.
“It’s too hot,” she said.
The man who usually cut the Floyds’ grass went to their house about 8:15 a.m. Friday, but Docia Floyd said the weather was too dry and not to cut it, Rozier said.
Rozier, who lives in Warner Robins, tried to call again Friday, but she couldn’t get her parents to come to the phone.
When her brother, who lives on nearby family land, went to check on the couple Saturday morning, he found the doors to the house unlocked. The kitchen appeared ready for Docia Floyd to prepare lunch.
Rozier said her brother saw that the farm truck was gone, and he soon found the truck and his parents. The scrap pot was empty and their mother was wearing gloves.
The brother had cut some tree limbs and stacked them in the truck bed, with the idea that he’d dump them during the weekend. Rozier said she thinks her mother probably tried to unload the limbs into the woods on the same trip.
“That’s just how independent they were,” Rozier said.
She said she’s sure her parents succumbed to the heat. And that was the preliminary assessment from the Bleckley County Sheriff’s Office.
The Floyds typically didn’t go out when it was so hot, so Rozier thinks her mother reasoned that she could move the limbs in a hurry and get back inside.
“It was just a terrible accident,” she said. “It was unreal to us that they would go out in the heat like that.
“The only thing that gets us through it is to know they are with the Lord and they went together.”
The couple had been married and living on the same piece of land on Floyd NeSmith Road for 62 years.
Docia Floyd was a homemaker who took joy in “putting up” bushels of fresh produce from the family farm, she said.
Terrell Floyd was a World War II veteran who worked 30 years at Robins Air Force Base. He farmed at night and on weekends until he retired and spent more time in the fields, Rozier said.
When it got to the point that Floyd could no longer farm because of his health, he leased the fields and still enjoyed driving by and looking at the crops, she said.
Services for the Floyds will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday in the chapel of Fisher Funeral Home in Cochran. Burial will be in Pulaski-Bleckley Memorial Gardens.
To contact writer Amy Leigh Womack, call 744-4398.