Dec. 13, 2017 — BYRD—William (Bill) Arlen Byrd, 84, of Florence, passed away quietly in his sleep at RiverBend Hospital in Springfield, Ore., with his beloved family at his side on Dec. 1, 2017.
Born July 10, 1933, Bill was a quiet and sincere man of great integrity, humor, compassion, full of smart and wise insights, playful talents and unbounded love for a those in his life and causes he cherished.
Thelma, his wife of 29 years, spoiled, pampered and cared for Bill in the same way he would do for her. In his closing days, their love and trust for each other was ever present.
His life as filled with many endeared people. Bill had two love-filled marriages. His first was with Shirley Schwab, who he married in September 1958. She preceded him in death in February 1986. Together, they raised four children: Erin Byrd, Sally Cravinho, Adam Byrd and Valerie Bronec.
Bill remarried in January 1989, to Thelma Haines, who survives him and brought three adult children — Paul Haines, Steve Haines and Lori Faha — into their marriage. All seven children, plus their spouses, survive him.
They have blessed Bill’s family with 20 grandchildren, their spouses, seven great-grandchildren and two more on the way. Bill had three sisters: Connie Enger, Judy Hunsucker and Sandra Jo Schoos; his sister, Sandra Jo Schoos, survives him, along with many cousins, nieces and nephews from his loving blended family — a big family that misses him greatly.
Bill was a veteran who served his country in the U.S. Coast Guard from 1953 to 1957. It was a time that provided many stories he used to entertain us all with and show his pride of mission.
He was also very involved in The Telephone Pioneers, taking on the responsibilities associated with being elected as Wagon Master of Pioneering in the Pines, as well as being awarded the Watson Award during his most active period of service with them. He and Thelma are also members of the Florence Elks Lodge.
Bill’s family roots go deep in Oregon. He was born in Garibaldi, with him spending his formative years in Beaverton and graduating from Beaverton High School in 1951.
Sports were a big part of his high school years, with his talents being a gift to his kids and grandkids, all of whom benefited from him being a great coach.
Some of his other joys were the outdoors, mountains, rivers and ocean of Oregon, as well as playing golf (which he taught many of us to be better at). He had retired in 1985 as a manager from the phone company after over 30 years of employment.
Bill’s friendships were deep, his mentoring of his kids and grandkids a perpetual gift and his warm love, support, music and humor bestowed to all his family and friends forever.
A memorial celebration will be held Saturday, Jan. 6, 2018, at Langdon Farms Golf Course, The Red Shed, 24377 Airport Rd NE #1, in Aurora, Ore., from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
For inquiries about the memorial celebration to which all family and friends are invited, contact the family at [email protected] .com.
Bill and Thelma Byrd’s home address is: 221 Azalea St., P.O. Box 2224, Florence, OR 97439.
The family thanks you for directing any donations or gifts to the Pioneers (pioneers volunteer.org) or Salvation Army in Bill’s name.
These organizations have missions Bill cherished.