James C. Byrd
Dec. 16, 1946 ~ Jan. 17, 2020
James C. Byrd, affectionately known as JByrd, passed away on Jan. 17, 2020, in Meeker, Colorado, after a long battle with cancer. JByrd was born on Dec. 16, 1946, in Leesburg, Missouri, to James Cordell Byrd and Agnes Byrd King. He grew up in Leesburg, finding all kinds of adventures along the way and graduated from Bourbon High School in 1964. Following school, he worked at a mechanics shop and then he went to the police academy and worked in that field until moving to Meeker, Colorado, in 1980. He was united in marriage to Judy Kitchen on Sept. 9, 1983. He ran JByrds’ Service and Repair until his retirement in 2014.
JByrd never met a stranger, whether at the station, boating, hunting or on his worldly travels, he could always strike up an entertaining conversation. Even though he “hated kids,” or so he said, the light of his life were his grandsons, who will miss him, his stories and their trips to the junkyard dearly. He loved nothing more than his conversations with kids around town and spoiling them a bit. JByrd loved classic cars, boating at Flaming Gorge, snowmobiling, 4-wheeling, traveling with Judy and a good cup of coffee, a few scratch tickets and great conversation with young and old at the corner store each day.
JByrd is survived by his wife Judy at home, his best dog Kia, Tom (Melissa) Kitchen of Windsor, Colorado, and Shirlene Kitchen of Cardiff by the Sea, California; grandsons Tristan, Truett and Ty Kitchen and Scott Clanton; brothers Brent (Janice) Byrd and Barrie (Tammy) Byrd; sister Elaine Byrd, and special cousin Ted Teeter all of Missouri. He was preceded in death by his parents and stepfather Melbourne King.
Near the end of his life, JByrd said he woke up every day with the goal of making someone smile, and if he accomplished that, it was a good day. His hope was that when you think of him, he can still give you that smile.
Per his request, there will be no services. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to HopeWest in Meeker.
Editor’s Note: The print version of this obituary lists incorrect birth and death dates in the header. We apologize for the error and will reprint a corrected version of the story in the Jan. 30, 2020 edition.