Well done, you good and faithful servant. You were faithful over a few things. I will make you ruler over many things. Enter the joy of your lord. Matthew 25:21
Mr. Gilbert M. Byrd, affectionally known as Lloyd, entered eternal rest peacefully and surrounded by his family on Tuesday, May 10th. Gilbert spent his life in service to his family, students, country, and many others. When we think of him, we think of a man who deeply loved his family and delighted in taking care of them. Gilbert was preceded in death by his parents, Audrey Mae and Ford Aubrey Byrd; sisters Mavelyn Blocker, Norlene Mayes, Donetta Byrd, and Kathy Calvin; brothers Ernest, Ford, Jr., and Gregory Byrd. He is survived by nephews and nieces that he lovingly raised in his home during his lifetime: Bryan K. Byrd (nephew); Connie Byrd (great-niece); great-great nieces Allyson Byrd; Audrey Byrd, Tiara Shoals, and great-great nephew Terence Lewis. Gilbert is also survived by a host of other nieces, nephews, and a devoted friend, Pat Rhine.
Gilbert was an extraordinary educator. As a life-long learner, he was gifted at teaching and helping others to be critical thinkers. He was in the Booker T. Washington High School Class of 1957 and went on to serve his country faithfully in the United States Air Force. During his tour of duty, he traveled extensively throughout Europe. After completing his miliary service, Gilbert moved to Washington D.C. and attended Federal City College (now University of the District of Columbia) where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in 1972 and a Master of Arts Early Childhood Development in 1975. He taught in Washington D.C.’s Public School System for several years before returning to Tulsa, Oklahoma to assist his mother. Shortly after moving back to Tulsa, Gilbert secured a position as a classroom teacher in the Tulsa Public School System to pursue his passion of teaching. He educated students until his retirement in 1994. Even after retirement, Gilbert continued to share his knowledge with the children who lived in his home and others throughout the community. He never ceased teaching because he understood he was called to this profession and served his students well.
Gilbert was blessed with a brilliant mind. He could converse on almost any topic, but particularly enjoyed analyzing politics and talking about the current events of the day. He taught us to never let anyone change who you are, and Gilbert lived his life on those principles. He passed down these important principles to his family and his family continues to pass down these principles to their children. Gilbert had the “gift of gab” and a sense of humor that oftentimes would make you wonder – is he coming at me? His favorite pastimes were reading, playing tennis, listening to music, watching political news programs/documentaries, and cooking amazing meals for his family. He showed the men of our family that Byrd men lead, and he led his life with a spirit of excellence. We will miss all his talents, but mostly we will miss being in his presence. We will miss how he made us feel and know how very much he loved us. We honor, respect, love and celebrate Gilbert on a life of service and a life well lived.
There will be a graveside service held on Monday, May 22nd at 11am at Rolling Oaks Memorial Gardens, 4300 E. 91st St., Tulsa, Oklahoma. Dress casually.