Robert Carl Byrd, "Bob," 86, beloved husband, father, brother, grandpa, and uncle, died after a long fight with Alzheimer's Disease on April 11, 2022. He entered this world on December 4, 1935, in Dillon, SC, born to Lacey and Viola Byrd.
Bob is survived by his daughter, Robyn Byrd-Hodgson; son, Randy Byrd; son-in-law, Michael Hodgson; daughter-in-law, Vina Byrd; two brothers, Freddy Byrd, and Larry Byrd; seven grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews throughout Florida and South Carolina.
He was preceded in death by a son, Robert, two brothers, LaRue Byrd, and Ernest Reynolds, his first wife, Peggy English Byrd, and second wife, Mary Martin Byrd.
In the 1950's, Bob served in the United States Army 11th Airborne Division as a paratrooper during the Korean War. Bob loved to drink Budweiser and tell stories about jumping out of planes, all the beautiful women he had met, and that time his chute tangled. At the end, when his memory was failing, he still remembered that he had jumped out of a plane forty-nine times.
Bob and his wife, Peggy, moved to the Cocoa, FL., area in the late 1950's, as part of the Cape Canaveral construction boom. He worked for Acousti Engineering of Florida before retiring. He and his first wife were active members of both the Cocoa and Orlando Moose Lodges and The American Legion in the 1980's. His daughter, Robyn, has fond memories of watching her parents dance at the Moose Lodge and at home in their living room. His family would be remiss if they did not mention Bob's passion for Florida Gators football. When the Gators won the National Championship in 1996, he performed cartwheels in the living room.
"Big Bad Bob" was a character and sarcastic to the end. While often a hard ass, he was generous to all and would help those in need. The Byrd house was often a refuge for nieces, nephews, and cousins who needed space from their parents. He also took in his children's friends who did not have anywhere to go. Underneath his tough exterior, he was a teddy bear. We will miss him, but we know that he is at peace and reunited with his first wife, Peggy, the love of his life.
Funeral services will be held on Thursday, April 21st, 11am at Highland Funeral Home, 3329 E. Semoran Blvd., Apopka FL., where a gathering of friends will be held prior beginning at 10:30am. Robert will be laid to rest immediately following in Highland Memory Gardens, Apopka, FL.