Don Byrd, 71 of Elburn, formerly of Kaneville, died unexpectedly Dec. 23, 2008.
Don was born in Elgin, the youngest child of Eva and Preston Byrd.
Don attended Elgin High School and proudly relived his football days and records he set. He served in the U.S. Army, a Vietnam-era Veteran serving as a corporal.
Don married Denyse Foley at St. Mary’s Church in Maple Park. They raised their children in Kaneville, where they lived for almost 40 years.
Don was an avid outdoorsman, most happy when outdoors. He loved hunting, fishing, camping and gardening. Don converted many people into his organic gardening beliefs and taught organic gardening classes at Waubonsee Community College.
Don was also very proud of his German heritage and had happy memories of his maternal grandparents, George and Christine Funk. He was also close to his uncles who taught him to hunt and fish. Mechanically inclined and self-taught, he could fix any mechanical device and knew how it worked just by looking at it. If he could not find a tool, he invented one. Don worked at Fermilab in Batavia for 30 years, adding his ingenuity and creativity to many projects, including the Super Collider.
Don enjoyed his retirement, working on his many projects, including winemaking, gardening and woodworking.
Don is survived by his children, David (Rebecca) Byrd, their children, Michaela and Elena; Denyse (Gordon) Kuykendall, their children, Sabrina, Michela and Jake; Maret (Ron) Kocian, their children, Benjamin and Jessica; Delores (Dave) Carroccio and their son, Daniel, and Don’s youngest daughter, Laura Suzan Byrd.
Don is preceded in death by his parents, his wife, Denyse; sister, Arlene Micklevitz, and infant daughter, Carolyn.