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The famous Jerry Carl Byrd was born on Sept. 14, 1946 to Wanda Avon Byrd (Brown) and Lemuel Carl Byrd in Santa Fe. He was the second fraternal twin, born one hour after his brother Larry, on that wonderful day. He passed away peacefully in his sleep on April 25 in his home in White Rock.
He graduated from the New Mexico Military Institute in 1964 and later graduated from New Mexico State University. He married his beautiful bride Elizabeth Martinez on Oct. 9, 1976 in Las Vegas, Nev. His life was filled with love, humility, passion, loyalty and commitment. This old scallywag recently retired after working for 40 years for several site support service contractors at the Los Alamos National Laboratory.
Over those 40 years, the contractors he worked for were: Zia, Pan Am, Johnson Controls Northern New Mexico, KSL, and Johnson Controls. He served for 13 years in the National Guard as a captain.
He taught at the Pajarito Ski Area for over 20 years as a ski instructor and served as the director for a number of years. His love and commitment didn’t stop there. He also volunteered with Prison Fellowship Ministries for more than 25 years, and said, “I learn more from them than they do from me.”
He loved the outdoors. He loved fly fishing with his sons, climbing 14-ers with his wife, playing basketball with his brother, painting with his aunt and mom, brainstorming creative art ideas with his daughter, giving the “goochy” to his grandkids, cross-country Harley rides with his friends, windsurfing, snowshoeing, hiking, golfing, skiing and cycling.
He wasn’t much of a gambler, but he would be quick to “bet you a cheeseburger” if he knew he could win.
Most importantly, he loved God and he loved people. He spent every morning reading his Bible and prayed daily for his friends, family, and those serving in the military. His smile was contagious and his joy inspired others to live life more gratefully.
He and his family are members of the White Rock United Methodist Church.
He is survived by his wife of 35 years Elizabeth Byrd (Martinez); one daughter Nicole McMains (Derin); two sons: Abad Chavez and Casey Byrd (Megan); two grandsons: Braxton Byrd and Katch McMains; and one brother Larry Byrd (Susan).