Born: February 22, 1937 - Deceased: October 25, 2022
Byrd Shepherd, USAF, Captain (Ret.), 85, passed away peacefully in the arms of his wife of 59 years, MaryLou Shepherd (nee Jackson) on October 25th, 2022 in Shiloh, IL. He was surrounded by all of his loving family. Aside from the military, Byrd’s greatest devotion was to all of his family. He loved checkers and was rarely beaten, enjoyed playing cards like setback & nickel/dime poker at his family reunion – also his favorite vacation. He enjoyed doo-wop music like The Platters on the wind-up victrola, and often danced MaryLou around the kitchen while listening. He encouraged everyone to join the military or attend a military academy. He was a member of Mensa and had Lifetime memberships in: Veterans of Foreign Wars, Vietnam Veterans of America, PhotoMappers Association, and Sons of the American Revolution. Byrd founded Camp 443 of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War in Belleville, IL.
Byrd’s immediate family all survived him:
Byrd proudly served in the Marine Corps, the Army, and the United States Air Force. In 1957 he joined the Army where he served as a Cryptographer and Radio Operator and served in Okinawa and Korea. He was deployed to Vietnam in 1963. While in Vietnam, Byrd was attached to the Military Assistance command Vietnam (MACV), to train the South Vietnamese Army. He was exposed to Agent Orange during Vietnam, which affected his health thereafter.
After serving in the Army for 9 years, Byrd joined the United States Air Force to pursue his higher education. He began as a Cartographer (PhotoMapper) and Computer Analyst. He began night school in Barksdale Air Force Base, then while stationed in Hawaii, he finished his Bachelors of Business Administration from Chaminade University, graduating with honors. After he attended Officers Training School, he was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in 1970. He transferred to Scott Air Force Base as a Captain, where he earned a Master’s in Data Processing from Washington University in St. Louis with honors, followed by a Masters of Business Administration from Southern Illinois University with honors. He was on the team that programmed the Strategic Airlift Command mainframe at Scott Air Force Base.
Byrd retired as a Captain in the Air Force, after 24 years serving his country, with multiple honors. He served under 17 command divisions, from Ordnance to Logistics to Military Airlift Command. He earned 19 honors and medals over the course of his service, including the Commendation Medal USAF, Armed Forces Expeditionary Service. His father, Albert Shepherd, served as a Seabee in WWII, and his son, Scott Shepherd, served in the Marine Corps as a sniper and was deployed during Desert Shield and Desert Storm. The family’s military service goes back to the French-Indian War.
Byrd was a Computer Analyst for Southwestern Bell, in St. Louis, MO before retiring permanently in 1991. During retirement, he walked a portion of the Appalachian Trail. Most of all, he loved sitting on the porch watching birds and wildlife with MaryLou, pursuing genealogical mysteries while following his family’s roots to the 1500’s; and watching collegiate sports, particularly University of Kentucky teams. Byrds favorite was UK Basketball, which his daughter Cassandra always watched with him.
Byrd was preceded in death by his:
He is survived by his:
Visitation will be on Saturday, November 5th, 2022 from noon – 1:30 pm at Robinette Funeral Home, 207 DeRoyal Industries Drive, Rose Hill, VA 24281.
Byrds Memorial Service begins at 1:30 pm following the visitation. It will be a military honors ceremony with everyone welcomed to share their personal memories of him, as he requested. Interment will follow at Trent Montgomery Cemetery, Rose Hill, VA.
Mary Lou and family. George and I are so very sorry to hear about your loss. Know that you are in our thoughts and prayers. May our Lord grant you peace of mind and heart.
Rest in peace !!! You will be missed by many ! Tho i knew your sisters but never knew you , my heart breaks for your family you left behind
While I only met Byrd a few times, I knew him to be a beloved family man. His grandsons were quite devoted to him, as were the other family members. So glad I was able to meet him as well. All willhave an emptiness from his loss. Rest in peace.
Such a great patriot he was, so impressed with his achievements and his love of family.
A slow respectful salute to you sir and may you forever rest in peace.
Mary Lou, I am so sorry for your loss. You are in my heart.
Goodbye, Byrd from this Earth and me. It was a most high honor to have been the Maid of Honor in yours and MaryLou’s wedding years ago. I know you will be missed by your family and all who loved you. UK most likely lost their biggest fan.
MaryLou know you and family will be in my thoughts and prayers. Have a safe trip to VA. I love you my precious friend.
So sorry for your loss,
What a great life he had . So many good memories to share .
Byrd loved his family and loved and served his country well. He will be missed by all who knew him. Condolences to all.
Mary Lou I am so sorry to hear about your husband passing. May the Lord comfort you at this time.