In Memory

Bruce Byrd

Bruce Byrd

Bruce L. Byrd, Jr. passed away at age 73 on June 11, 2020 after a battle with pancreatic cancer. He was a scientist and an entrepreneur, a patriot, a teller of some good ghost stories, and a reasonably good cook. His office was sometimes messy but he always knew where to find things. Bruce was born in Detroit Michigan on a cold icy morning on January 16,1947. In 1953 a family move took him to Richmond, Virginia where he was a 1965 graduate of Hermitage High School. Bruce was a US Air Force veteran and flew 141 combat missions on Special Operations gunships in Southeast Asia - he was awarded four Distinguished Flying Crosses, nine Air Medals, and the Vietnam Cross of Gallantry. He graduated with a BS degree in Geology from Virginia Tech in 1974 and worked as a Geophysicist and Geologist for several oil and gas companies in Texas, West Virginia, and Colorado. In 1981 he earned an MBA degree from the University of Denver and later opened his own petroleum exploration consulting company - Dune International. He was an Emeritus member of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists and the Society of Exploration Geophysicists, as well as several other professional petroleum organizations. Bruce played guitar since his teens and loved bluegrass music, salt water fishing out in the Gulf, hiking and camping in the Rockies, anything to do with Einstein and astronomy, and a cold beer or a good single malt Scotch whisky. Maybe not in that exact order... He loved to travel and his work often took him on trips to Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia, and the Middle East. At last count he had set foot in some 66 countries - some exotic, some dangerous, but all interesting and full of new things to experience. Bruce worked on a number of US and worldwide exploration and development projects for public and private companies, and foreign government agencies. Bruce is survived by his wonderful loving wife Jo Anna, 3 daughters - (Rhonda - Columbus OH, Jennie - New Orleans, and Ashley - Houston) and 4 grandchildren (Michael, Conrad, Macallan, and Reese). Also surviving are his loving mother Mildred, sister Gail, brother Greg and niece Gina Cannella Romer. His father Bruce Byrd Sr. predeceased him in 1982. “I’ve had a really good and full life - so no flowers and no tears, please. Instead just have a sip of a nice cold beer on a warm sunny afternoon and think about the good times we shared”, Bruce Byrd Jr.

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06/13/20 01:14 AM #1    

Robert Malatin

So so sorry. Please Rest in Peace

06/13/20 09:35 AM #2    

Brian Robson

All classmates' deaths are disturbing. Bruce's passing is personal. We were buddies. Bruce and I used to fish on the banks of U of R's lake at 6 a.m. and sometimes even caught one. In 1962, Bruce, Bobby Darden, and I attempted a JFK 50-mile hike and managed to cover 39.2 miles in a single day until blisters forced us to quit. We used to double-date. 

The end of anyone's life can be sad, but Bruce's life was too full to allow sadness to override the total awe of all that he achieved. He packed at least 200 years of adventure into his 73 years. He never wasted a second.All things were doable; nothing was too difficult or too big. Everything peaked his curiosity, so his pallet was larger and brighter than other people's. 

Bruce had a quick wit that was more than good-humor. He was enthusiastic and jolly. He was a hoot to know. Guys like Bruce are rare blessings among us. I'm grateful to God that I was privileged to know him and to call him a friend. 

You're in a new adventure now, Pal. I just hope that Heaven is big enough to handle you. See you there. 

06/13/20 11:26 AM #3    

Phillip Ratcliff

It has been a long time since we left Hermitage, but Bruce was one guy I remember well as a friend.  From the comments I have read, he had a happy and full life. Godspeed to you and my condolences to your family.

06/13/20 11:58 AM #4    

Diane Bowen (Hardy)

I'm so sorry to hear this news.  I'm happy that I reconnected with Bruce at one of the reunions, after having no contact with him since high school.  I am amazed at his accomplishments.  My condolences go out to his family and friends.  RIP

06/13/20 03:16 PM #5    

Carolyn Hubbard (Hite)

So very saddened to learn of the death of Bruce Byrd. He looked so incredibly healthy at our 50th reunion, and I so enjoyed learning about his impressive life. Condolences to his wife and family!

06/13/20 03:39 PM #6    

Wayne Baker

So sorry to hear about Bruce's passing. What a wonderful life he seemed to have lived!


06/13/20 04:56 PM #7    

Mary Todd

I'm truly sorry to hear of Bruce's passing.  We had some good conversations at various reunions and, wow, what a life of adventure and accomplishment!  I wish him godspeed and expect he's already having fun.

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