John C. Byrd Sr.

Published 12:00 am Sunday, March 1, 2009

John C. “Chubby” Byrd Sr. died Thursday, Feb. 26, 2009, at his home. He was 75.

Born in Greenville, Mr. Byrd had been a resident of Vicksburg since 1972. He was a graduate of Greenville High School, where he was a member of the band and won the National Drum Major Award in Enid, Okla.

Mr. Byrd served in the Army, stationed in Italy during his service time. He began his career as a young man helping build the first towboat for the Vickers Towing Company of Greenville in his mother’s back yard. Starting from the bottom of his profession he later became a deckhand working his way to captain as a licensed towboat pilot with Vickers Towing Company and was port captain for Vickers Towing Company in Greenville.

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Moving to Vicksburg he was part owner of Ole Man River Towing Company until 1978 and later became part owner of Central Rivers Towing Company until his retirement in 1982. Mr. Byrd was a member of the Baptist faith.

He was preceded in death by his parents, George Mosley Byrd Sr. and Grace Sitton Byrd; three sisters, Wanda Williamson, Juanita Vickers and Marnell Byrd; and a brother, George Mosley Byrd Jr.

He is survived by his wife, Bobbye R. Byrd of Vicksburg; a daughter, Johna Traylor and her husband, Joey, of Grenada, Miss.; a son, John C. “Chuck” Byrd Jr. of Vicksburg; a brother, Robert D. Byrd and his wife, Dorothy, of Greenville; and three grandchildren, Mackenzie Traylor, Peyton Traylor and Schuyler Byrd.

Services will be 11 a.m. Monday at Riles Funeral Home Chapel with the Rev. Donny Brown officiating. Burial will be at Belzoni City Cemetery at 2:30 p.m. Monday under the direction of Riles Funeral Home. Visitation will be Monday from 9 a.m. until the hour of the service.

Pallbearers will be Chris Roberts, Lee Paxton, Walter Williamson, Joey Traylor, Tom Wise, Edward Roberts, Ray Kent and Walter Roberts.

Honorary pallbearers will be Sam Roberts and Bill Roberts.

Memorials may be made to the Blair E. Batson Children’s Hospital, University of Mississippi Medical Center, 2500 N. State St., Jackson, Miss. 39216.