Dr. Roscoe William Byrd, Jr. was a Professor Emeritus at Virginia State University where he led the Animal Sciences Department from 1985-2002. Prior to joining the faculty at Virginia State University, Dr. Byrd had a career in Public Health with the United States Army. He entered the Army Veterinary Corps in 1964 and retired as a Lt. Colonel in 1985. His career included food inspection and directing a rabies laboratory.
Dr. Byrd pledged Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Incorporated in 1957 while attending the University of Southern California. In 1973, Dr. Byrd received a Master of Science in Infectious Disease from Kansas State University in Manhattan, KS and a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from the Historic Tuskegee Institute in 1964. Tuskegee is also his hometown. He completed The Tuskegee Institute High in 1956. Dr. Byrd's parents are also Tuskegee Alumni. His father was an administrator at Tuskegee and his mom a teacher at the Historic Chambliss Children's House School for the Children of Tuskegee Institute faculty before becoming Principal of the Cerebral Palsy School of Chicago.
When not on the golf course, Dr. Byrd attended events at the Richmond Jazz Society. He was also a patron of classical music. His greatest joy was watching his grandson play tennis through the National Junior Tennis League, a program started by Richmond native Arthur Ashe. He also attended his granddaughters' dance and gymnastic recitals. He rarely missed any of their birthday parties.
Dr. Byrd is survived by his children Brian Cordell Byrd, Bettina Byrd-Giles (James Giles), Evita Chantall Byrd (Richard Fields), and Brett Ross Byrd, and his grandchildren Khayria Fields, James Edward Giles Jr., Khadijah Imani Fields, and Asiyah Sabreen Fields.
Viewing will be held from 5:00 P.M. to 7:00 P.M., Thursday, June 4, 2020 at J. M. Wilkerson Funeral Establishment, Inc., 102 South Avenue, Petersburg, VA.
In lieu of flowers, please send contributions to Tuskegee College of Veterinary Medicine at https://www.tuskegee.edu/support-tu/give
Please follow the CDC and State of Virginia guidelines.
J.M. Wilkerson Funeral Establishment, Inc., 102 South Avenue, Petersburg, VA, (804) 732-8911, www.jmwilkersonsince1874.com