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Richard Byron Byrd


1937 - 2015 Obituary Condolences
Richard Byron Byrd Obituary
Richard Byron Byrd, age 77, of Abilene, (former Sweetwater resident) passed away Friday, May 1, 2015, at his home. Funeral services will be held at 1:00 P.M., Monday, May 4, 2015 at First Presbyterian Church with Pastor Lance May officiating, assisted by Rev. Kary Fry. Burial will follow at Garden of Memories. Arrangements are under the direction of Cate-Spencer & Trent Funeral Home.
Richard was born September 23, 1937, in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma to Vinton Charles and Carmen Inez (Moore) Byrd. Richard married Bette May Franks on March 28, 1975 in Sweetwater, Texas. As a mechanical engineer, Richard attended Southern Methodist University on a work grant from General Dynamics. He worked for Stewart Engineering and later for Rohr Aircraft, California, having a love for airplanes. He later relocated back to Texas to work for Product Engineering in Dallas, Texas, a company that designed overhead bridge cranes and later formed a partnership with Murray Dantzler. In 1979 they moved to El Paso, Texas with an oil boom coming and formed Sun Belt Crane and Hoist. After a decline in the oil economy Richard and Bette moved to Sweetwater and started home designing and building projects which eventually led them to Hailey Street Depot. Richard was a partner-operator of Hailey Street Depot were he loved helping and visiting with West Texas people. Richard's real love was oil painting. He liked to duplicate the Masters and paint in a parrot somewhere to denote his humor. Van Gogh was one of his favorite artist.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Charles and Inez Byrd; stepmother, Thelma Byrd; sister, Phyllis McPherson; and his beloved mother-in-law, Mary Grace Craig.
He is survived by his wife, Bette Byrd of Abilene, Tx; his son, Eric Byrd and wife Kristi, step-daughter, Melissa Stutts and husband Vernon, step-son Michael Franks and friend Patricia McGrath, brother, Charles Michael (Mickey) Byrd and wife Margie. Grandchildren, Erica Byrd, Tommy Maitland and wife Michelle, Kristy Maitland, T.J. and Timmy Mundel-Patterson, and Miranda Stutts. Great grandchildren Chalyce, Seth and Bryson Maitland. Also surviving are many loving family members.
Published in Sweetwater Reporter on May 5, 2015
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