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Don Byrd was born in Indiana on July 18th, 1937 to Isom E. and Nellie Byrd. Before his second birthday, his parents moved to 1625 Vine Street in Cincinnati. While attending Central High School, he worked at the A&P Food Company at Elder and Race and then in the Overhead Door Company warehouse on Reading Rd. After graduating high school in June 1955, he married his loving wife Sonia in 1956. Don also enlisted in the United States Air Force on May 7, 1956. After basic training, he was assigned as a Photolithographic Camera Technician for NORAD. He was honorably discharged during 1960 as an Airman 1st Class. Don joined the Cincinnati Police Division on April 2, 1962. Patrolman Byrd was assigned to Districts 4 and 1. On November 19, 1967 he was promoted to Sergeant and served in District 4 and Intelligence Section. He was promoted to Lieutenant on August 24, 1975 and assigned to District 1, Vice Control Bureau, and Criminal Investigation Section; serving almost four years as the Homicide Unit Commander. Promoted to Captain on July 25, 1982, he commanded District 3, Criminal Investigation Section, District 4, and Operational Support Section before retiring January 21, 1989, with 33 years of service to his country and community and 22 letters of commendations and/or appreciation; including several from heads of local, county and federal law enforcement agencies. He then went on to enjoy his second career with the NFL. After a long battle with cancer, and his family surrounding him, Captain Byrd passed away at 76 on December 31, 2013. Don is survived by his devoted wife of 57 years, Sonia Byrd, nee Marcum. His loving children, son Kurt (Sharon) Byrd, daughter Karen (Michael) Dunbar, and daughter Kimberly (Mark) Bemmes. His cherished grandchildren Kayla, Kelly, and Kristy, brothers Roy (Wanda) Byrd, and Jerry (Evalina) Byrd, sister Sharon Farmer, brother-in-law Oda Marcum, numerous nieces and nephews, and a host of close friends. He was preceded in death by his brother-in-law Ken Farmer. Visitation will be held Friday January 3rd from 4-7 pm and services will begin at 7 at the Gwen Mooney Funeral Home (513 853-1035). Interment will be in the Williamsburg Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family would like donations to go to your local animal rescue or Veteran's Association.
Gwen Mooney Funeral Home
4389 Spring Grove Avenue Cincinnati, OH 45223
Published in The Cincinnati Enquirer from Jan. 2 to Jan. 3, 2014