James "Mike" G. Byrd Sr.

March 26, 1946 - November 11, 2022


Obituary For James "Mike" G. Byrd Sr.

DeForest – James G. “Mike” Byrd Sr., age 76, fondly known to have the gift of gab, passed away on November 11, 2022 at SSM Care Center with his loving wife by his side. He was born on March 26, 1946, in Easington, Co. York England to parents James R. and Iris P. (Dawson) Byrd.

Mike graduated from DeForest High School in 1964. He married his wife of 56 years, Carol Anderson on June 11, 1966. He enjoyed coin and stamp collecting, and in the past 10 years attending craft shows with Carol. He worked various jobs throughout his life, starting by delivering milk at the age of 12 in England, working at Demco for 29 years, being an Insurance Agent for 5 years, and working in the Waunakee School District for 8 years. He was the author of “My Son the BRAT”. He was a Cub Scout Leader in DeForest in the early 70’s, founding member of the Waunakee Area EMS from 1976-2002, and a member of the American Legion 451, Sons of American Legion. He volunteered at the Madison’s Veterans Hospital, the Martin House preparing meals for the homeless, and St. Baldricks Children Cancer Research where over the 11 years he helped raise a total of $200,000, he also played Santa Claus for East Town Mall for 10 years in the 70’s and 80’s. He was the proud Dad who watched his sons perform in school sports; never missing a game, then watching his 3 grandchildren perform in their school sports and other activities; being their biggest fan alongside Carol.

Mike is survived by his loving wife Carol; 2 sons, James “Jim” Jr. (Terri) Byrd of DeForest and Jon (Shannon) Byrd of Monticello; 3 grandchildren Shaun Byrd, Cassidy Byrd, and Graham Byrd; his brother Paul (Mary) Byrd of Utah; 2 sisters Yvonne and Valerie; brother-in-law Paul (RoJeane) Anderson of Waunakee, sister-in-law Ann (Dale) Broske of Janesville; and several aunts and uncles in England, and many nephews, nieces, friends, and special friend Dave “Oscar” Hamre; and his best buddy canine Bo.

Mike was preceded in death by his parents, his in-laws Rueben ‘Andy” and Rosemary Anderson; sister Veronica Byrd Jenson; sister-in-law Mary Anderson; and brother-in-law James Anderson. A special thank you to Dr. Benjamin Jordan at SSM Health Dean Clinic, SSM Nurses on 5 E and 5 SW, SSM Health Care Center Vilas and Yahara Neighborhoods.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the American Heart Association, American Diabetes Association, or to the Dane County Humane Society.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, December 3, 2022, at 11:30 a.m. at Ryan Funeral Home, 6924 Lake Road. A visitation will be held on Saturday at the funeral home from 9:30 a.m. until time of service. A private interment will follow services at the Moravian Cemetery.

To view and sign this guestbook, please visit: Ryan Funeral Home & Cremation Services Windsor/DeForest Chapel 6924 Lake Road 608-846-4250


3 Dec


09:30 AM - 11:30 AM

Ryan Funeral Homes - DeForest / Windsor 6924 Lake Road DeForest, WI 53532 Get Directions »
3 Dec

Memorial Service

11:30 AM

Ryan Funeral Homes - DeForest / Windsor 6924 Lake Road DeForest, WI 53532 Get Directions »
by Obituary Assistant

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  • 11/30/2022

    I send condolence to Mike's family, with thoughts of honorable character. I knew Mike only by way of his brother Paul's words. Paul was the first to befriend me when I moved to DeForest in 1968. As 15 year-olds - too young to drive and not yet quite old enough for a paycheck - we whiled away our time after class and on weekends. Paul's comments about Mike formed in my mind the image of a well established family man - married, responsible, working fulltime - an older brother who already had advanced beyond the next stage of life I could imagine. Some 50 years later it's now apparent Paul's comments were prescient in previewing the creditable life Mike led. May his family cherish Mike's enduring character, knowing his contributions to his community span generations to come. Sincerely, Gregg Waterman

  • 11/28/2022

    Carol, Jim and Jon Sorry to hear of Mike's passing. I worked with him at the PDQ in Middleton for several years. He certainly did have a gift for gab. I loved when our shifts overlapped. He has so many stories. Always quick with a joke too. He was very proud of his family too. My condolences on his passing. Jim and Sandy Ryan.

  • 11/19/2022

    Carol and family, Sorry to hear of Mikes passing. I went to school with Ann. I remember going to East Towne with Lisa Kerns and we thought we would go sit on Santa's lap and get our picture taken. Boy were we surprised when he called Lisa by her name! Thoughts and prayers to you and your family.

  • 11/17/2022

    Carol, Jim, Terri, Jon, Shannon & family members, so very sorry for your loss! Our many memories go way back (50+ years) to the two flat on Linden Avenue. The place where 'our families stories began'. Mike & Carol living in the first floor apartment and Ron & Mary on the second floor. We loved having you as our closest neighbors! Even though there were some shenanigans....i.e. Mike making popcorn & purposely placing it by the 1st floor heat register so the aroma would drift up to the 2nd floor (yup, then we HAD to make popcorn too). I remember when Mike changed into his Santa Suit, in the garage, to benefit our little kids. When Santa exited the garage, on his way into the two-flat, some big kids threw snowballs at Santa which prompted a (deserved) shout-out scolding! There was a lot of joy, laughter and love with the Byrd family. RIP, Mike.

  • 11/16/2022

    Mike was such a sweet, funny, compassionate man. I knew him from Waunakee Area EMS. I remember Jon as he followed in Dad's shoes on EMS.. Carol and family, my sincere condolences to you all. Melissa Dahmen

  • 11/16/2022

    Carol, I'm so sorry for you and your family's loss ! I remember Mike bringing pts into the ER as an EMT . Always had a friendly smile ! Liz Kelsey

  • 11/15/2022

    Thinking of Mike's family and sending you comfort at this time of loss. Aunt Kathy

  • 11/15/2022

    I met Mike when he and Csrol adopted BO....he was a wonderful, kind man. He will be missed!

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what our families say

Tiffany Foster went out of her way to fulfill all my requests, talked me through problems I was facing, and tried to make me feel as comfortable as possible when I was a wreck, totally crushed, and I thank her with all of my heart for that.

James S. | July 2020

The professional manner of the staff made a difficult time a little easier.

Lynda R. | July 2020

Services provided for both parents were perfect, on time, and no issues. Brenda is awesome and strong!

Michael M. | July 2020

Skyler was absolutely amazing. She was so caring and helpful through this whole process. She even went above and beyond to meet with us in DeForest and even to make a stop at our home to drop off or pick up anything needed. While it was a small gesture, it was so helpful and greatly appreciated.

Brooke S. | Dec. 2020

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