February 20, 2018


William E. "Sonny" Byrd
September 21, 1935 - February 18, 2018

William E. “Sonny” Byrd, age 82 and a resident of Bogalusa, passed away on February 18, 2018, surrounded by family.
Sonny was born in Bogalusa September 21, 1935 to parents, Clayton and Velma Byrd. His mother adoringly named him “Sonny boy” as he was the only son in a family of three sisters. He grew up on a dairy farm and developed a life-long love for cattle and horses.
In 1953, Sonny married his “1st wife” (and only wife), Bobbie, and raised four children over a sixty-four-and-a-half-year marriage.  Sonny and his family left Bogalusa in 1969 and moved to Ocean Springs, MS.  He worked diligently and became a successful businessman and owned Balius Floor Coverings for 45 years.  His work ethic and honesty made his business known across the Mississippi Gulf Coast.
Sonny was a people person and never met a stranger.  He loved to talk and to get to know people everywhere he went.  He especially enjoyed telling stories to younger generations.  He was generous and helped his family and friends in any way he could.  He was a natural provider to all those he loved.
Finally, at the age of eighty, Sonny retired, and he and Bobbie returned to his roots in Bogalusa.  He enjoyed sitting on the front porch at the “Old Place” admiring the beauty of God’s creation and watching the cattle on his inherited acreage.  He was most content when he had family or friends over to visit with a captive ear.
Sonny is survived by his wife, Bobbie; two sisters, Nella Guilbeau and Betty Adams; one brother-n-law, Benny Adams; a son, Keith (Karen) Byrd; and two daughters, Metta (Todd) Temple and Joy (Matthew) Gough; eight grandchildren Melissa, Clayton, Blake, Chase, Macy Lee, Presley, Benji and Kristy; and three great grandchildren Heidi, Peyton, and Tre.
He is preceded in death by his parents; his uncle Hubert Mizell; his sister, Sue Adams; his brothers-n-law, Leonard Guilbeau, Jerry Adams, and Ray Boyd; and his son, Bruce Byrd.
Visitation will be held at Poole-Ritchie Funeral Home in Bogalusa, LA on Tuesday, February 20, 2018 from 5:30 P.M. to 9:00 P.M. Visitation will continue at Poole-Ritchie Funeral Home on Wednesday, February 21, 2018 at 9:00 A.M. and continue until time of funeral service at 11:00 A.M. Dr. Mike Barnett will officiate. Interment to follow at McGehee Cemetery.

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