WILLIAM FITZHUGH BYRD, JR.
September 11, 1925 ~ July 12, 2018
William Fitzhugh Byrd, Jr., 92, of Vancouver, WA, passed away July 12, 2018. He was the eldest child of a long established family in Gadsden, AL.
Bill fought in WW2 in the European and Pacific theaters with the 86th Infantry, Blackhawk Division, of the US Army and maintained contact with men he fought with through his entire life.
After the war, he went to Auburn University on the GI Bill, where he met the love of his life, Catharine, the woman he eloped with and who has been by his side for these past 67 years and 4 children.
Bill mustered through Fort Lewis and believed the PNW was the most beautiful country he had ever seen. He gradually worked his way from Alabama, where eldest sons Bill 3 and Bob were born, to California, where daughter Vassar and son Joe where born, through a brief stint in Indiana, to finally settle in Vancouver, WA where he and Catherine raised their family.
Bill was a strong believer in community and contributed in many ways. He was president of Vancouver Rotary, started the Volkesport Club, was president of the American Foundrymen's Association, had numerous positions at Columbia Presbyterian Church, and started the PNW Auburn Alumni Club. You could always count on Bill to show up,
work hard, have a great attitude, and make sure
the job was finished all the way through.
A devoted husband and father, he spent years hiking and backpacking with Boy Scouts, taught all his children how to sail, supported them in their many athletic and academic endeavors, and proudly cheered Catharine on when she returned to college to graduate with a BA in Accounting from the University of Portland.
Even more than sailing, Bill loved flying. He was instrument rated for decades, flying out of Pearson Field, throughout the NW and the United States, only admitting to one crash landing we know of, when his engine threw a rod. Although perhaps one of the worst photographers on the planet, Bill loved traveling with Catharine and they visited many countries during all kinds of trips, including in more recent years, trips with the International Volkesport Association.
In addition to his wife, Catharine and their 4 children, he is survived by 7 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren. Service to be held at Columbia Presbyterian Church at 2p.m., July 26, 2018.
Remembrances to the Vancouver Rotary Foundation.
Please sign his guest book at: www.columbian.com/obits
Published by The Columbian on Jul. 15, 2018.