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Lee Bentley Byrd

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Lee Bentley Byrd Obituary
Lee Bentley Byrd

Lee Bentley Byrd bid farewell to a long and happy life on February 22, 2019 surrounded by his loving family. He was born in Memphis, Tennessee on May 15, 1930. His predeceased parents were Lindsey and Juanita Fortner Byrd of Arkansas. Lee grew up in Little Rock, Arkansas and earned a BS in chemistry from Henderson State College. He went on to obtain a BS degree in electrical engineering from the Air Force Institute of Technology, a master's in electrical engineering at the University of Illinois and an MBA at California State University, Dominguez Hills. Lee was a proud member of the United States Air Force for 22 years, retiring from his last post at the Pentagon in 1973 as a Colonel. During his service, he received multiple decorations, including the Bronze Star Medal and the Air Force Commendation Medal. Following his retirement, Lee began a long career in research and development in the aerospace industry in California and Virginia, culminating with 14 years at Magnavox Electronics. Never one to take it easy, Lee then began a third career, in politics, in Rancho Palos Verdes, California. He served on the planning commission and city council, and as the city's Mayor in the 1990's. Much of Lee's later years were spent in Fallbrook, California, where he continued to follow local and national politics and enjoyed restoring antique scales. Along with his wife, Elaine, Lee was known to be a kind and generous neighbor, serving on numerous neighborhood associations and sharing lively conversation over a glass of Merlot. He leaves behind friends, colleagues and admirers in each of the many posts and residences he took up over his lifetime. He is survived by his best friend, life's partner and love of his life, wife of 67 years, Helen Elaine Byrd; his loving children, Gary Byrd (wife, Aileen), Susan Pfingst (husband, Craig McCurdy), Leslie Saeta (husband, Dave), Rick Byrd (wife, Shellie) and Jeni Reedy (husband, Tom); 14 grandchildren, and 2 great-grandchildren. Lee's family will receive visitors at a celebration of life reception on Saturday, March 16 from 1:00-3:00 at South Hills Country Club, 2655 Citrus Street, West Covina, CA 91791. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Lee's name to his favorite charity, the at support.woundedwarriorproject.org.
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Published in Daily Breeze on Mar. 10, 2019
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