William Boyd Littrell

William Boyd Littrell

August 26, 1941 – May 18, 2022

William Boyd Littrell born on August 26, 1941, to William C. and Phyllis Littrell in Beatrice, NE died on May 18, 2022.    Boyd was preceded in death by his parents, and by a son Robert Burk Littrell (1975), the son of his first marriage to Elizabeth; his brother David Thomas Littrell, a Lincoln architect.    He is survived by his son, William David of Austin, TX and by his second family, Mark Bequeaith and Suzanne Stewart and their children Cora, Frieda, and Louise of Des Moines; by Ann Curtis and her husband Samuel Gubbels and their two sons, Graham and Isaac of Denver; and by Jake Curtis and Mary Keller Curtis and their children Audrey and Max, of Phoenix; in-laws,Bill and Susan Cutler of Omaha, and Beth and Buck Lawler of Cary, NC.

Boyd received his High School Diploma from Beatrice HS; a BA from Nebraska Wesleyan University, his ThM from the Iliff School of Theology in Denver Colorado, and his PhD.  from New York  University in New York City. He held appointments to churches in Greenwood and in Melbeta, NE. He held teaching positions at New York University, University of Texas at Austin, a yearlong visiting professorship at University of Iowa, and summer courses at Fort Lewis College in Durango, CO. In 1978, he moved to Omaha, where he was a tenured professor for thirty years at the University of Nebraska at Omaha in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology. He served as chair for nine years. He published or edited three books, dozens of articles and papers.

His personal interests varied among music, theater, and painting. He sang with the Omaha Symphonic Chorus, where he did solo work, the Opera Omaha Chorus, and many funerals and weddings.  He performed at Chanticleer Theater in Council Bluffs, The Omaha Community Playhouse, and a community center production of Leonard Bernstein’s Trouble in Tahiti. He received awards at two juried art shows for Prismacolor drawings. He was a long-time devoted member of Book Fellows.  He was an avid Cornhusker and Iowa Hawkeye fan—demonstrating that peace can coexist even among hostile entities, and that he could hold two contradictory ideas in his powerful mind at that same time.

He married Kathryne (Kate) Cutler in 1992. They soon became absorbed grandparents, the best job Boyd ever had.  After retiring in 2010, he devoted his time to grandchildren and community service. He served on the Board of Directors for the Senior Citizens’ Center, Children’s Square U.S.A., The Council Bluff’s Housing Trust, and All Care Health Center. He was the recipient of the Children’s Square Annual Jason Award in 2017. He was a true Renaissance man who will be deeply missed.

VISITATION: Saturday, May 21st from 12:30pm to 1:30pm at Cutler O’Neill Funeral Home, 545 Willow Ave. in Council Bluffs, followed by FUNERAL SERVICE at 1:30pm.  INTERMENT: Walnut Hill Cemetery.  In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to All Care Health Center, Children’s Square U.S.A, or Council Bluffs Public Library Foundation.

To view a live broadcast of the Funeral Service, please visit www.cutleroneill.com and go to the obit page for Boyd Littrell and click on “Share a Memory.”

Arrangements by:


Bayliss Park Chapel, 545 Willow Ave., Council Bluffs, Iowa



1 Condolence

  • Nikki Dover Posted March 9, 2024 8:35 am

    I stumbled across a letter Professor Littrell wrote me after an article I wrote in our campus paper in 1999.. I always held onto it because it meant a lot to me as I always thought a lot of him. I hope he had a wonderful life.

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