Funeral services for Ronnie Roe Byrd, 79, of Killeen will be at 2:00 p.m. March 21, at Harper Talasek Funeral Home in Killeen with Reverend Weldon Hicks officiating.
Ronnie Byrd died March 16, 2019, at Temple Hospital. He was born in Temple, Texas on Aug. 15, 1939, to Woodrow and Floy Blankenship Byrd.
He married his high school sweetheart, Julia Janelle Neal on Aug. 28, 1958. They were the parents to three wonderful boys, Billy, Blake and Greg. They were able to celebrate 58 years of marriage until she passed away in 2016.
Ronnie was a hardworking man. He retired from Ft Hood Civil Service after 33 years and then went on to work for the TDCJ. He loved hunting, fishing and arrowhead digging. He was a member of the First Trimmier Baptist Church and the Killeen Jaycees.
Ronnie was proceeded in death by his parents.
Survivors include his sons, Billy and daughter-in-law Debbie of Gatesville; Blake and daughter-in-law Rae Ann of Waco; and Greg of Killeen; sister La Nae Gordon of Killeen. Seven grandchildren, Morgan Byrd, Michael Byrd, Bailee Byrd, Amanda Lindsey, Dustin Byrd, Ronell Byrd, and Jordyn Byrd. Ten great grandchildren, numerous nieces, nephews and many, many friends.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests a memorial in Ronnie’s name be made to the Trimmier Baptist Church at 6405 Chaparrel Road, Killeen, Texas 76542.
Visitation will be Wednesday evening from 6-8 p.m. at the funeral home.
As a young child, Uncle Ronnie was a giant of a man to me. Initially, I was afraid of this towering man, but within short time I came to know and love him as the gentle giant he was to me. I loved spending time on his ranch with him. Those memories off of Slawson Lane were some of the best of my youth and I will always cherish those times with him. Some of my earliest memories of fishing was with Ronnie. From wading the Lampasas River catching white bass to fishing for catfish at Lake Falcon, he made those early memories everlasting.
Ronnie taught me many life skills and lessons that were instrumental in developing me into the man I am today. Skills like how to milk a cow, and more importantly, the importance of holding the pail of milk steady so as not to spill it all over myself. Another memorable lesson learned was not to try and sneak a drink of his Mickeys Big Mouth beer while speeding across the waves in the boat (beer up the nose is not a good sensation and is hard to hide). Related to this lesson, and somewhat a right of passage, was that smoking Grape Vine is not all that enjoyable. But we survived it. Another lesson I learned the hard way was, shooting guns late at night is not a good idea, especially with horses are around. In true Ronnie fashion, he helped me track down my horse well into the early morning hours as it ran through Chaparral Estates.
Ronnie also spent weeks with me helping to rebuild my truck engine. I learned so much about mechanics and how things work during that time. I couldn’t have done it without him. I think the base of my mechanical and woodworking skills comes directly from my interactions with him. Ronnie could fix anything.
Thank you for the special times you gave me. Thanks for making me laugh. Thanks for helping me grow. I will always cherish those moments with you.
Rest in peace Uncle,
I love you
COL Brett GordonHarker Heights, TX
Uncle Ronnie is a man that helped shape my life. He was there at every family event and there whenever we went fishing. It was his ranch where we gathered to camp and BBQ. He was a man we always went fishing with catching catfish on the Cowhouse Creek and Lake Falcon, Lake Stillhouse, Lake Choke Cayon, Lake Richland Chambers and White Bass at Lemons Camp. He was and always will be a role model to me. Someone who loved and provided for his family. A man who worked hard and played hard. There wasn’t many things he couldn’t do. My life has been blessed and enriched because I knew Ronnie Byrd. I knew him as a Man, mentor, cousin, uncle and a good friend. Rest In Peace Ronnie and enjoy your time on the Crystal Sea.
Mike NealHamilton, TX