William Carl Byrd, 82, of McAlester, died Wednesday, July 19, 2017, in McAlester.
He was born on March 27, 1935, in Ada to O.B. and Jewell (Murray) Byrd.
Carl was an avid baseball enthusiast as a coach, mentor and commissioner of Babe Ruth Baseball for Oklahoma, Arkansas and Missouri. He loved working with young players and helping develop their skills through instruction and spirited competition, conveying the importance of fundamentals and sportsmanship. His commitment, dedication and passion instilled lasting memories to all that knew him.
During his early years, a desire to see the world inspired him to respond to a small job posting in an Oklahoma City newspaper. The ad mentioned an oil rig supervisor needed for overseas operations. He responded to the ad with little expectations. As fate would have it, he received a call offering him the position. A week later he was on a plane to New York with a connecting flight to Beirut, Lebanon. His next stop, Saudi Arabia. With zero experience, he was dropped off in the desert next to a giant rig with a tent, radio, rations and an operator's instruction manual. Two months later he was in charge of a dozen rigs.
After working several years in the desert, Carl moved back to Oklahoma to marry Lynda Collard and start his exciting career in insurance. Carl and Lynda were married 37 years before her passing in 2003.
Carl is survived by a son, W. Kelley Byrd, of McAlester; a daughter, Carla Byrd Gardner, of Little Rock, Arkansas, and four grandchildren, Christopher Gardner, of Little Rock, Matthew Gardner, of New York, Joshua Byrd, of Broken Arrow, and Devan Howard, of McAlester.
Private family services will be scheduled at a later date.
Published on July 23, 2017