The gates of Heaven opened wide at 9:30 a.m., the morning of Saturday, July 13, 2013, to welcome Byron E. Reynolds, 81, of Fort Walton Beach, Fla., where he peacefully passed surrounded by family. Byron joined the U.S. Air Force in 1948 where he met and married Geraldine May Coplin from Chicago, Ill., and they began their lifelong journey together.
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While proudly serving our nation's military during the Cold War era, Byron was part of an elite group responsible for maintaining the 52nd Bomb Wing, Hound Dog missile maintenance program for the B-52 Bomber. This career choice resulted in relocating his young family to various bases across the United States from Maine to New Mexico and various other Air Force bases in between.
After dedicating most of his young life to keeping America safe from her adversaries, Byron retired from the U.S. Air Force with honors in 1976 and relocated to Fort Walton Beach where he, his son, John, and grandson, Evan, worked together on several automotive projects at a local automotive repair shop until 2008.
Byron was an avid pet lover and would often care for abandoned or abused dogs. He loved reading about airplanes and muscle cars; and at one time was an avid model train enthusiast. He truly loved to figure out how things worked and was a wonder with both electrical and mechanical items and processes. Once, while stationed at K.I. Sawyer Air Force Base in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, Byron initiated a class called Grease and Glamour, designed to empower women to make minor repairs and adjustments to their own cars.
Byron is survived by his wife of 62 years, Geraldine; two children, John and Jennifer; four grandchildren, Legion, Evan, Alex and Arielle; and two great-grandchildren, Cassandra and Shyla.
A private ceremony with full military honors will be held Thursday, July 18, 2013, at 2 p.m., at the Beal Memorial Cemetery.
Expressions of love and sympathy may be viewed online at www.emeraldcoastfuneralhome.com.
Emerald Coast Funeral Home
161 Racetrack Rd NW
Fort Walton Beach, FL 32547
Published Online in Northwest Florida Daily News on July 18, 2013