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Harrel Lewis Byrd, the son of the late Andy and Jethonia Byrd, was born February 2, 1947. He departed this life on Tuesday, October 31, 2023, at his residence in California City, CA. Harrel was a graduate of Tattnall County Industrial High School class of 1966, Reidsville, Georgia. After graduation, he moved to Miami, Florida, and worked at a Cadillac dealership. In June of 1968, he enlisted in the United States Air Force.
Harrel was united in holy matrimony to the love of his life, the late Mae “Mary” Sue (Roberson) Byrd on June 6, 1970. They were united at her membership church Steephill Missionary Baptist Church in Metter, GA. They enjoyed forty-five years of marriage until her passing on March 14, 2016. The Lord blessed this union with one son, Byron B. Byrd. During his military career the family resided at the following Air Force Bases: Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Dayton, Ohio June 1971 - April 1982; Lakenheath Air Force Base, Suffolk, England April 1982 - April 1986; Edwards Air Force Base, Kern County, California April 1986 - February 1991; finally settling in California City, California from April 1986 until 2023.
Harrel served in the Air Force for twenty-three years. He was a veteran and served during the Vietnam and Gulf wars. He received an honorable discharge with the rank of Technical Sergeant. After his retirement, he was employed in the Department of Water Resources, State of California for a number of years then finishing up his working career at Edwards AFB as a government employee where he retired from civil service January of 2013.
Harrel possessed a personality that allowed him to touch the lives of many people. His friendship was filled with love, concern, honesty, and genuineness. He was blessed with an innate desire to always reach out and help those in need. He loved the people in every community where he lived, especially families and friends of his original hometown. Harrel accepted Jesus Christ as his personal Lord and Savior then joined The Family Church Ministries, of California City, California.
Harrel leaves to cherish many precious and loving memories; his son, Byron Byrd of California City, CA; three granddaughters, De’Ofvon Jasman De’Mary-Byrd, Lanai Indian Moon Shields-Byrd and Nalla Bleu Phoenix Shields-Byrd all of California City, CA; one great-grandchild, Apollo Percy of California City, CA; one foster son, Kodi Rico (Tashonalaki) Jackson of Valencia, CA; four grandchildren, Ymani Nicole, Khale Rashad, Isaiah Tijon and Mia Symone Jackson; one great-grandchild, Ah’Lyvia Jackson; four sisters-in-law, Catherine (Reverend Frank, Jr.) Jones of Midway, GA; Betty Roberson of Providence, RI; Barbra Roberson-Cannon of Atlanta, GA, and Teresa Roberson-Branch of Cobbtown, GA; one brother-in-law, James Philpot of Gadsden, AL; numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.
The staff of Whitaker Funeral Home is honored to support the Byrd family with Dignity, Respect and Integrity.
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