Jerry "Big Papa" Byrd

  • Born: May 30, 1943
  • Died: October 31, 2018
  • Location: Owensboro, Kentucky

Glenn Funeral Home and Crematory

900 Old Hartford Road
Owensboro, KY 42303

Tel. (270) 683-1505

Tribute & Message From The Family

Jerry Ralph "Big Papa" Byrd, 75, of Owensboro, peacefully flew in to the arms of his Savior on Wednesday, October 31, 2018, in his home surrounded by his loving family with "Tiger Rag" playing in the background. He was born May 30, 1943 to James Ralph Byrd and Mae Byrd Grogan.

Jerry attended Clemson University for pre-pharmacy before graduating from The Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston as a registered pharmacist.

He was a pharmacist at Greenville (S.C.) General Hospital for 14 years before moving to Owensboro with his family to become director of pharmacy at Mercy Hospital. He worked at Owensboro Health Regional Hospital until his retirement in 2011.

Jerry served his country in the Army Reserves as a Staff Sergeant from 1965-1972. He was a member of the Masonic Lodge. He was a member of First Baptist Church of Owensboro, where he was a former deacon and a member of the Maverick Sunday School class.

Jerry is survived by his wife of 53 years, Jean Edwards Byrd, his daughters Christy Todd and husband Kelvin and Melissa Yates (Peter Brondum), and his son Zachary Byrd and wife Chelsea, his beloved grandchildren, Nathan and Mathew Todd, Davis and Cooper Yates, and Mia and Lea Brondum; his mother, Mae Grogan; and a brother, Danny Grogan. He was preceded in death by his precious granddaughter, Kaia Byrd, and his father James Ralph Byrd.

Jerry loved his Lord, his family, his Clemson Tigers football, and his faithful dogs, Macho Man and Avery. He loved telling stories (whether they were embellished or not) and being surrounded by his children and grandchildren. His quick witted sense of humor was one of his best qualities and served him all the way up to his passing.

Funeral services will be held Monday, November 5 at 11:00 A.M. at First Baptist Church. Visitation will be from 2:00-6:00 P.M. Sunday at Glenn Funeral Home and Crematory and from 10:00-11:00 A.M. Monday at First Baptist Church. Private graveside services will be held.

Expressions of sympathy may take the form of contributions to First Baptist Church, 230 J. R. Miller Blvd., Owensboro, KY 42303 or to Friends of Sinners, 326 Clay Street, Owensboro, KY 42303. Memories and condolences for the family of Jerry Ralph Byrd can be shared at


Condolence & Memory Journal

Jerry gave me my first pharmacy job as a tech when I was 18, that was over 30 years ago! Because of him and the start he gave me, I've had a long and successful pharmacist career. HIs impact has been felt far beyond those pharmacy walls and will not be forgotten. Thank you Jerry and my deepest sympathies to your loving family. Lisa Harrod (Martin)

Posted by Lisa Harrod - Albuquerque, NM - Coworker   November 23, 2018

Please accept my heartfelt sympathy for the loss of your loved one. Jeremiah 29:11, 12 assures us that God is thinking thoughts of peace towards us, to give us a future and a hope, and that if we come and pray to Him, He will listen to us. May you have peace, in this time of deep sorrow.

Posted by A friend   November 09, 2018

I would like to offer my sincere condolences to the family for your loss loved one. JEREMIAH 29:11 assures us that God is thinking of peace towards us, to give us a future and a hope. May that bring you comfort in this time of deep sorrow. PSALMS 9:9

Posted by MARCEL T - Your Neighbor, GA   November 08, 2018

Jean, I have so many fond memories of the both of you when we were at Brushy Creek. Please know that mine and Irene's prayers are with you at this time.
Ken & Irene Crain

Posted by Ken & Irene Crain - Gray Court, SC   November 08, 2018

Jean & family,
Thinking of you, sorry we were unable to be there as we had returned to Florida. I will always cherish the brief visits I had with Jerry recently, only wish I had done more of it over the years as your neighbor and friend. I will never forget the kindness and service Jerry provided us when my mother was in the hospital, he always went above and beyond. Pray his faith and God's promises comfort you as they did Jerry! Our sincerest condolences to each of you.

Posted by Arthur (& Debra) Harreld - Owensboro & Longboat Key, Fl - Neighbor   November 06, 2018

Jean and family - we were so sad to learn that Jerry had passed away. What great times we will remember from your days in Greenville, SC. Please know that you are in our thoughts and prayers.
Our sincere sympathy. Dock and Barbara Rose - pharmacy friends.

Posted by Barbara & Dock Rose - Greer,, SC - Coworker   November 05, 2018

Thinking of you all today and remembering the Byrd- he was a great man and helped me take care of our patients many times in the ICU - CCU and Cathlab.

Posted by Liz Emery - Owensboro, KY - Coworker   November 05, 2018

Jean, I am so very sorry for your loss. I fondly remember Jerry from the hospital and remember stories you laughingly shared about 'Big Papa'. My condolences to you and the rest of your family.

Posted by Sharon Cooper - Philpot, KY - Coworker   November 05, 2018

So very sorry to hear about Jerry's passing away. My condolences go out to you and your family, Jean.

Posted by Jeff Erb - Utica, KY - Friend   November 05, 2018

So very sorry for your loss, Jean. Praying for you and your family.

Posted by Liessell Hamilton - Philpot, KY - Friend   November 04, 2018

Honestly, in my 30yr hospital career, I have never met a more knowledgeable, helpful, kind and caring pharmacist. You could ask Byrd anything. If he did not know that second...which, he usually did, he got right back to you with an answer. He truly cared about the patient and the nurse. Loved his southern accent as well. Once told him when I was in am ER panic that just calling pharmacy and hearing his voice took my anxiety down several notches. He was a great, great man. I miss him to this day when I have to ask a pharmacy question. Rest In Peace Jerry. Jean, I will be praying for you. He sure loved you. Last time I cared for him, he went on and on about how wonderful you were. May God be with all of you. He will never be forgotten.

Posted by Gwen Roby - Owensbork, KY - Coworker   November 03, 2018

So sorry to hear of Jerry's passing. I worked with him for years at Owensboro Medical Health System in the Pharmacy.

Posted by Rhonda Sartain - Livemore, KY - Coworker   November 02, 2018

Jean,I am so sorry to hear of your loss.My thoughts and prayers are with you.

Posted by Mary Estes - Lewisport, KY - Friend   November 02, 2018

Mrs. Jean. I am sorry for your loss with Mr. Jerry. Oh man how much he will be missed by you. He was an amazing, dedicated, man of God. He was my papa for a while too. I'll never forget your family's generosity to us. I will be praying for you as you enter a new phase of life without him by your side.

Posted by Summer Alexander - Woodbridge, VA - Friend   November 02, 2018

I'm so saddened to hear of the passing of Jerry. I met Jerry when he was a relief pharmacist for me many years ago. He was absolutely a great guy! I'll look forward to seeing him again. My thoughts and prayers are with his wife and family. May the Lord comfort you with his peace and may knowing that Jerry is now in your future and not your past be a comfort as well.

Posted by Paula Moore - Owensboro, KY - Friend   November 01, 2018

Loved this man and precious family!

Posted by David and Bonnie Bivins - Owensboro, KY - Friend   November 01, 2018


Posted by Flo Garrett - Simpsonville, SC - Friend   November 01, 2018

Family Album