Gordon Samuel Byrd, a gentle soul known for his quiet wisdom, peacefully departed this world on Sunday, September 10, 2023, in the presence of his family. He leaves behind a legacy of grace, compassion, and profound inner strength.
Born on March 8, 1942, in Brownwood, Texas, to Merial and Eva June Gentry Brock Byrd, Gordon grew up on the Stearns homestead in Trickham, Texas, where his extended family raised beef cattle. He started his lifelong love of study and learning at Brooksmith Elementary before continuing at Coggin Intermediate School, and Brownwood High School, where he graduated in 1960.
After a brief time in The United States Army Medical Corp, Gordon received a Bachelor of Arts in History from Texas Christian University where he learned the importance of listening and recording events when and as they happened– qualities that endeared him to all who had the privilege of sharing his company or corresponding with him.
Gordon delighted in exchanging letters. More than mere communication, the penning of words to paper allowed him to connect with friends and family in a deeply personal way. The many pages of his epistles were filled with vivid description, thoughtful analysis, and poetic prose weaving a narrative that made the ineffable accessible and the mundane captivating. Like the indelible mark on the page, he marked the hearts of his family and friends.
When not writing, Gordon had a profound love for reading history and storytelling. This is especially true of his native Texas. When the day's tasks were done and the dishes were cleared, he was always ready with a tale to educate and entertain, and few in his orbit were unaware of his favorite observation: “Those who can not remember the past are doomed to repeat it.”
Gordon was preceded in death by his parents, Merial and Eva, his brother William John Thomas Brock, and his step-son Derrel Armstead McBroom.
He will be lovingly remembered by his children Winfred Byrd (Rebecca) of Oregon, Wisconsin; Samantha Byrd (Andrew Soles) of Arlington, Virginia; Connie Pesek (Robbie) of Little Rock, Arkansas; twelve grandchildren; and the mother of his children Esther Wolfe Byrd.
A memorial service will be held at a later date in Santa Anna, Texas. Specific memorials can be made locally to First Presbyterian Church, 300 East Main St., El Dorado, AR, 71730 and Barton Library, 200 East 5th St., El Dorado, AR, 71730; or in Texas to Trickham Cemetery Association ℅ Terry McIver, PO Box 519, Santa Ana, TX, 76878.
In the quiet moments we share and the thoughtful reflections we have, we will keep Gordon's memory alive. Though he may have left this world, his spirit lives on in the pages of his favorite books and letters, and the kindness he showed to others.