William Byrd(1928 - 2012)

William Earl Byrd

Yazoo City

Lifelong Yazoo County resident, William Earl (Billy) Byrd died Friday December, 28, 2012.

Byrd was born in Yazoo City on August 12, 1928. He graduated from Benton High School in 1945. From 1945 until 1949 Byrd attended Mississippi State College (now University). He was a member of Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity (President), ROTC, and the Maroon Band. He graduated with a Bachelor's of Science Degree in Agricultural Engineering.

First Lieutenant Byrd was called to Active Duty in response to the Korean Conflict and served as Commander, Co. D, 155 Inf Regt, 31 Inf Div.

He was married to the former Martha Jean Lee for 55 years. They reared three children in Yazoo City.

After an entrepreneurial experiment in the farm equipment business, Byrd accepted a sales position with Mississippi Chemical Corporation in 1961. He was promoted through the organization and retired in 1991 as Director of Sales and Marketing.

He was a member of the Fertilizer Industry Roundtable, Mississippi Council of Farmer Cooperatives and the Mississippi Agricultural Chemical Council (President 1977), The Association of Mississippi Agricultural Organizations and the Central Mississippi Agri-Business Council.

Byrd served in the Yazoo City Lion's Club (Past President), Keep Mississippi Beautiful Committee, and the Yazoo County Chamber of Commerce (Board of Directors).

He was baptized at First Baptist Church (FBC) Yazoo City in 1938 and remained involved until his death. He served in several capacities including deacon (past Chairman), SS Director, Personnel Committee, Choir and Orchestra (trumpet).

Byrd was preceded in death by his wife Martha Jean Byrd of Indianola, MS; parents Eugene Leonard Byrd, Sr. and Glennie Sigrest Byrd of Yazoo City, MS; brother Eugene Leonard Jr. of San Diego, CA; sisters Dorothy Byrd Hutchison (Clyde) and Frances Byrd Crocker (Clayton) of Yazoo City and Kathryn Byrd Hanks (Ward) of Smithville, MO.

He is survived by his daughter Beth Byrd Stansberry (Jerry) of Hixson, TN; sons David Alan Byrd (Carol) of Stuart VA; Edward Neil Byrd (Freda) of Hoover, AL; grandchildren Bren Stansberry (Sharon) of Knoxville, TN; Gina Stansberry George (Eric) of Brentwood, TN; Katherine Dale Byrd of Pensacola, FL; Benjamin Lee Byrd of Stuart, VA; Landon Neil Byrd and Edward Earl Byrd of Hoover, AL; great-grandchildren Gentry George and Kristin Lyle George of Brentwood, TN, sister-in-law Barbara Byrd of San Diego, CA; brother-in-law Clyde Edward Lee (Mary) of Austin, TX; and numerous cousins, nieces and nephews. The family would like to thank longtime friend Gladys Young for her faithful service throughout the years.

Funeral services for William E. Byrd will be held at First Baptist Church on Wednesday January, 2, 2013 at 11:00 with interment following at Glenwood Cemetery. The family will visit Tuesday from 2-4 at Stricklin-King Funeral Home and Wednesday from 10-11 at the church before the service. Stricklin King Funeral Home will handle the arrangements.

The family requests that in lieu of flowers donations be made to the First Baptist Church, Yazoo City.

Published in Clarion Ledger on Dec. 30, 2012