Jack Ray Byrd

Jack Ray Byrd

Suffolk, VA
07.23.1930 - 04.17.2018
Suffolk, Virginia

Jack Ray Byrd, a Nansemond County (now City of Suffolk) native who lived out-of -state for many years but returned home in the early 1980's, died April 17, 2018 at age 87 following complications from pneumonia.

Byrd graduated from Chuckatuck High School; attended Elon College; served in US military; then graduated from Benjamin Franklin School of Accountancy in Washington, DC. He began his professional career with Thomas J Lipton in the early 1950's working in accounting at the Suffolk plant; he was subsequently promoted into a management program at the company's corporate headquarters in Englewood Cliffs, NJ. In the 1970's, he assumed financial management responsibilities for a plant in Missouri. In the early 1980's he returned to Suffolk as head of accounting. He retired at 66.

In 1962, he married Peggy Brown, of Sunbury NC. A former Miss North Carolina (Miss Universe, 1959), Peggy launched a successful real estate career in the 1980's

Throughout his life. Mr Byrd (who hailed from a musical family) was actively interested in music as both a performer and fan. He was a skilled guitarist who performed in night clubs locally and regionally from the 1940s to the 1960s. He also later sang in the choir at Oakland Christian Church. Accompanied by such musical luminaries Tommy Newsom and brothers Charlie and Joe Byrd, he performed annually at fundraisers held at the Planter's Club and other venues.

As a couple, Jack and Peggy Byrd were active in their church and community, and generously gave their time to friends and family. Peggy died of lung cancer in 2009. In subsequent years, Jack was diagnosed with dementia, but continued to reside at his home in Suffolk with help from friends, family, close neighbors and members of his church. Despite some health challenges, Byrd continued to play guitar until recently and was always alert when others were playing or singing. He was also an avid fisherman and gardener.

To the end, Byrd remained characteristically cheerful and upbeat-- always finding a smile for visiting friends and relatives, unfailingly loving and generous.

He is survived by nephews John W Byrd, David N Byrd, Jeff House and J. Michael Hobbs, and by nieces Barbara H Thomas, Mary Jo Byrd Labayog, Carol Byrd Rose, Charlotte Byrd-Baypai;  Beverly H Windley, Constance H Sanders, Linda H Algood, Karen H Leigh and Margaret Klages.

A service will be held at Oakland Christian Church on Sunday, April 29, 2018 at 2pm followed by a reception. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Becky Godwin Scholarship Fund, Oakland Christian Church, 5641 Godwin Blvd, PO Box 2008, Suffolk, VA 23432. www.oaklandchristainchurch.com. Online condolences can be registered at RWBakerFH.com

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Oakland Christian Church
5641 Godwin Boulevard
Suffolk, VA 23432
United States


Newman Memorial Cemetery
5641 Godwin Boulevard
Suffolk, VA 23432
United States


Jack will be greatly missed. I always enjoyed his visits at the Tv shop.
The stories he told of his youth will always be treasured.

Jerry Greene

Dear Family,
On behalf of the City of Suffolk Treasurer's Office, I want to extend to you our sincerest sympathy on the loss of Jack. Jack was a good man, and he was always a pleasure to be around. Our thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time.
Ronald H. Williams, City Treasurer and Office Staff

Ronald H. Williams

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