Tribute for Dr LeRoy James Byrd (Guest book)
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Dr LeRoy James Byrd

September 4, 1937 ~ December 22, 2016 (age 79)
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Message from David & Mary Gaines
January 22, 2017 8:07 AM

Dear Irene: Leroy was a favorite Carroll College classmate of Dave, a person that he looked up to and emulated. We have fond memories of seeing you both at class reunions over the years.
We offer our deepest condolences to you and family.
Dave "Windy" ('60) & Mary Wilson Gaines
Message from Pat Moran
January 21, 2017 10:00 AM

Our condolences to Mrs. Byrd and the entire family on the loss of this brilliant, admirable and selfless man. Our parents are friends of the Byrd's; going all the way back to their Carroll College days and we were lucky enough to attend that same great college with three (or maybe four? :)) of their incredible and sweet children. Dr. Byrd did so much for Carroll. He was just an amazing benefactor and a truly kind, kind person. All our love and prayers to you all.

Chris, Pat & John Moran
Message from Ge Vue
January 19, 2017 3:50 PM

My deepest sympathy goes to Dr. Byrd's family. I was shocked and saddened by his departure. I couldn't believe it when I first heard about it because I just saw him a few weeks ago. For over 40 years he was always there for me and my family. We came to the US back in the late 70's from Laos; ever since he was our very first primary care physician. What I remembered the most about Dr. Byrd was that he was so kind, caring, and always spent time with me and my family for the last 40 years. He always smiled and said "How u doing young man, padded my shoulder and shook my hands." My mother never liked to take her medications but it was Dr. Byrd who convinced my mother to do so. And even today if she refuses to take, I tell her that Dr. Byrd says so and then she takes her meds. Dr.Byrd was such a compassionated person and a beautiful mind. You will be greatly missed ......Ge Vue
Message from Gary and Arlene Galovic
January 10, 2017 12:20 PM

How do you find words powerful enough to pay tribute to the greatest man in my life of 73 years? Leroy Byrd walked this Earth for such a short time, to us mere mortals, of only 79 years. In those 79 years, this man accomplished more in his years of life than the rest of us could hope to accomplish if we lived for a 1,079 years.

He was not only my primary care doctor for over 40 years; he was the best friend I ever had even though our paths crossed only a few times a year, mostly in his office. He had so many patients in his practice I always felt so fortunate that he could always find the time for me to care not only for my physical problems but for every personal crisis I had in the forty years I knew this saint of a man. When he would call me sometime near 10 o’clock at night, I always knew just how busy he was and I would never be forgotten by him even though he should have been home many hours ago.

Leroy saved my life eight years ago because of his diligence in caring for his patients, when a family crisis had my heart near massive failure. I survived after eight hours of open-heart surgery all because this man cared so much and was so brilliant in utilizing his medical skills in discovering a condition that was close to being fatal for me.

I am thankful that in the last few years, Leroy got to meet my second wife Arlene. He would celebrate with me, every time I saw him, on my good fortune at getting a second chance at happiness so late in my life. That’s the kind of man Leroy Byrd was---thoughtful, caring, compassionate, loving, and brilliant in every respect.

His beautiful adoring family and his and their undying faith in Jesus Christ is the ultimate proof of just what a perfect man Leroy Byrd was. He will forever be my role model.

Gary and Arlene Galovic
Message from THS
January 10, 2017 8:15 AM

As an employee of Holy Family Hospital I met Dr. Byrd many many years ago. He would always great me in the hallway and address me by my first name. This meant a lot to me because he made me feel important and special. I always considered him one of our best doctors and just a great person. I will miss him. THS
Message from Zer Vue
January 8, 2017 5:16 PM

For as long as I can recall Dr. Bryd has been a beacon of hope for my family for over 40 years. Since being relocated here to WA State in the late 70s, my parents, SEA (Southeast Asian) refugees were taken care of by Dr. Bryd and his staff. Every hospital visit my parents had was with him. He was always welcoming and his care extended beyond language barriers for he gave his best to my family and whenever there was a need we would call him. Understanding my parents care and lack of knowledge of the medical system he even shared his personal cell number with our family in case of emergency. He treated us like his own family. In our household he was our go to and had become a huge part of my family. Even now as my mother is living with Alzheimer's she still remembers him. It was his kindness and care that made her feel safe. I can never thank him enough for this. He was truly an extraordinary man.

I am now 37 years old and I can't recall an incident in our home that we would reach out to any other doctor before calling on Dr. Bryd first. RIP and you are dearly missed. My condolences to your family and we hope you find comfort in each other. ~ Zer Vue
Message from Yer Vue
January 8, 2017 5:07 PM

Dr. Bryd was my mother's physician. Every time she went in to see him, I recalled him being very kind and warmhearted towards her (even learning a few words in our native language to make her feel comfortable). Our family is deeply saddened to hear of his passing. We extend our heartfelt condolences to his family.

Yer and Kia Vue
Message from Peggy Doering
January 8, 2017 9:31 AM

Greg and I extend our condolences to Irene and to your family. The memories that were shared at the funeral Mass were tender, loving and humorous.
May your faith and love support you in the days ahead,
Peggy and Greg Doering
Message from Steve and Karen Darling
January 5, 2017 2:16 PM

LeRoy was a mentor, friend, and a wonderful caring physician. He gave so much of himself to his patients and the community. He will be greatly missed.
Rest in peace. Steve and Karen Darling
Message from Merry Maccini
January 5, 2017 8:10 AM

Merry and I met LeRoy and Irene in the early 90's when we joined their Renew couples group at St. Joseph's Parish. We shared several patients over the years. He was LOVED by his patients. He was a caring and compassionate physician. He was a fun man to be around, always had a smile and a firm handshake. He was always interested in people and what was going on in their lives. LeRoy was a huge presence in many lives and a leaves a hole in the hearts of not only his family, but all of those he touched. He will be greatly missed. Godspeed LeRoy!
Dave Maccini
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A candle was lit by Frank Martin on January 3, 2017 9:02 AM
Every so often God places certain Special people within our lives to counsel us. To
console us, to help guide us, to make us well, to be our confident. LeRoy Byrd was that person to me, as he was to others. I grieve the loss of him as do you. He is now in a much greater place and some of us will join him soon.
John 3: 15-18.

Frank Martin
Message from Mary Schaefer Badger
January 2, 2017 11:40 AM

Doctor Byrd was a colleague. Although we were in two different Internal Medicine groups practicing at Holy Family Hospital, he always had a kind word and a smile for me. Patients and staff adored him. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and also with his partners at Rowan Internal Medicine at this difficult time.

Mary Schaefer Badger
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A candle was lit by Kathi Zollars on December 30, 2016 8:21 AM
I knew Dr. Byrd . He wasn"t our doctor, but when my husband was very ill I saw him at Holy Family and he talked to me for a few minutes about my husband. The fact that he took the time for me meant so much. He was a very special person. My thoughts and
love to his family. Kathi Zollars
Message from Jeff Fretheim
December 30, 2016 6:12 AM

As a nurse at Holy Family Hospital, it was my privilege to have been able to work with Dr. Byrd many times. It was always a delight to see him arrive in the ICU to see his patients and to watch him interact with his patients. He would always greet all the nurses cheerfully and take time to answer any and all questions posed to him whether they were medical questions or not. Dr Byrd will be sorely missed by me. My condolences and prayers to the family. . .thank you for sharing him with me.
Jeff Fretheim RN
Holy Family Hospital
Message from Douglas A Cannon
December 30, 2016 4:02 AM

As a life long parishioner of St Joseph's Colbert I was fortunate to know Dr Byrd and there awesome family. Most notably I learned the value of life by witnessing the actions of Irene and Leroy during good times and hard times for them! He was a great friend to my father! He was very generous to many! As I read his obituary I was not surprised to learn many untold achievements. He was a humble man that maintained one of the greatest principles of Christianity, that you know he is Christian by his love! Because of this fact I am extremely happy for Leroy but very sad for the rest of us. May you rest in peace with the Lord!

Sincerely, Doug Cannon
Message from Bob Patshkowski
December 29, 2016 11:36 PM

Dr. Byrd was the only Dr. That would talk to me when I started working at HFH. I was only 17 but he always stopped, said hello, shook my hand and asked how I was doing. I always enjoyed seeing for 30 plus years since. He will be missed by many. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family.
Bob Patshkowski
Message from Betsy McMichael
December 29, 2016 10:00 PM

We moved here from Texas in 1970. Soon after my mom started working at Holy Family Hospital in the EKG dept. I was in 8th grade and had 4 sisters. We all knew Dr. Byrd. My mom worked with him for many years until she retired. He was a kind and gentle man. My mom considered him a friend. Betsy McMichael
Message from Jennifer Knight RN, BSN
December 29, 2016 9:07 PM

My condolences to his family and friends. May you find peace in the coming days that I know will be so difficult. Dr Byrd was a very caring and accomplished individual. He was always so kind to us nurses. Eager, willing and ready to teach us. He happily answered our questions without hesitation. A true testament of a man who truly cared for others. God speed sweet man. You will truly be missed.
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A candle was lit by Paula Newell on December 29, 2016 6:44 PM
Lit a candle in memory of Dr LeRoy James Byrd
Message from Sharon Mendez & Family
December 29, 2016 5:42 PM

My condolences to the family and community for the loss of a great Doctor and wonderful man. Humor, honor, and caring. It was always a fun and learning experience to be withere him
Message from Carol Petraeus Morton
December 29, 2016 4:41 PM

What an amazing life! What an extraordinary man. I met him once, at the wedding of my son Keith Morton, who was blessed to be one of Dr. Byrd's partners in Rowan Internal Medicine. The world needs a lot more people like Dr. Byrd. I hope that his many loved ones find comfort by knowing that his great soul is eternal, and that they will be together forever.
Carol Petraeus Morton
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A candle was lit by Tammy Olson on December 29, 2016 11:11 AM
Dr. Byrd was a friend and Doctor throughout our family. I am truely heartbroken over the loss of our friend and family. God speed to our dear friend. Thank you to the Byrd family for sharing him throughout the many years.
Message from Shirley Cornwell
December 29, 2016 10:51 AM

Dr Byrd will be missed by both of us for some time to come. He has been our doctor for thirty years. His first thought was always how to help us. He cared for both of us through cancer and brought my husband back from the brink of death several times, He was our doctor but also our friend! Rest In Peace dear Dr Leroy Byrd..
Message from Sylvia Glover
December 29, 2016 6:51 AM

I cannot even begin to express how important Dr. Byrd has been to our family and how much we think of him. He cared for my parents for many years and through their final illnesses; he was smart, uplifting and compassionate always. Dr. Byrd was a tremendous support to me as I mourned my parents and as my personal physician. I enjoyed our talks. We spoke often of our work, since both he and I enjoyed what we do. He loved being a physician, and recently told me he certainly had no plans to be spending time on a golf course. I will miss Dr. Byrd so very, very much.

My condolences to his family--his beloved wife and the children and grandchildren of whom Dr. Byrd was so proud.

Sylvia Glover
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A candle was lit by Maureen McKenna Jones on December 28, 2016 8:00 PM
Dr. Byrd has been my mother's and late father's physician for many years. He gave such compassionate care to my dad during his later years when vascular dementia slowly claimed Dad's memory and peace of mind. Dr. Byrd was one of the handful of people that Dad still remembered and trusted during his last weeks. Our entire family appreciates more than I can say the wonderful care and compassion this wonderful man gave to our dad, and we were very touched by his concern and support to our mom who was Dad's primary caregiver. Heaven became a better place when LeRoy Byrd walked into the arms of our Savior. I have no doubt that there have been many happy reunions in heaven with this remarkable man. May God comfort and hold your family close during this difficult time!
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A candle was lit by Cindy Linton on December 28, 2016 1:09 PM
Lit a candle in memory of Dr LeRoy James Byrd
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A candle was lit by Barbara Fillis on December 28, 2016 1:08 PM
Lit a candle in memory of Dr LeRoy James Byrd
Message from Dennis Hake
December 28, 2016 12:33 PM

Our deepest and heartfelt sympathy to Irene and the entire Byrd family on LeRoy's passing - each of you is a tribute to him and the legacy he created here on earth.
LeRoy's ready smile, quick wit, consummate skill, and compassionate heart will be greatly missed by all who knew him. Even if you had just met him, or had known him for a lifetime, he had a way of engaging you and making you feel as if you were THE most important person to him in that moment.
Blessings to you,

Dennis and Nancy Jean Hake
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A candle was lit by Jackie Osborn on December 28, 2016 12:24 PM
Lit a candle in memory of Dr LeRoy James Byrd
Message from Jackie Osborn
December 28, 2016 12:44 PM

My heart aches for the loss of Dr. Byrd. He was a beloved doctor for nearly my whole family; my mother, husband, sister, sister- in- law, brother-in-law and myself. He was so very caring and concerned about his patients and went out of his way to visit them at their home when they couldn't make it in to his office.. Not many doctors do that anymore, but he was an exceptional man and doctor. I truly believe him to be the epitome of what a dedicated doctor is. He will be so sorely missed. God be with you, Dr. Byrd!
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A candle was lit by Candace Nelson on December 28, 2016 11:59 AM
Dr Byrd you will be so missed on this Earth. You were loved by so many. My prayers go out to your family. You were a special man. I really enjoyed working with you.
Message from Suzanne Vannatter
December 28, 2016 10:38 AM

My thoughts and prayers are with Dr Byrd's family. Mark and I were patients of his for 30 years; he was the kindest, caring soul. Although on earth we will miss him dearly, we know heaven received a good one on the 22nd. Peace be with family, friends... during this time. We will meet again.
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A candle was lit by Lori Doud on December 28, 2016 10:35 AM
Lit a candle in memory of Dr LeRoy James Byrd
Message from Annette Plese
December 28, 2016 6:19 AM

The world will not be the same without Dr. Byrd making everyday better for anyone who came in contact with him.
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A candle was lit by Melodie Yates on December 27, 2016 5:47 PM
Lit a candle in memory of Dr LeRoy James Byrd
Message from Jackie Osborn
December 28, 2016 12:06 PM

My heart aches for the loss of Dr. Byrd. He was my mother's doctor, my husband's, my sister's, my sister in law's, and brother-in law's, and mine. He cared for us all with the devotion and caring that only Dr. Byrd could give. I truly believe that he was the finest, most dedicated doctor, and was the epitome of what a superb doctor should be. Not many doctors will voluntarily drop by your house to check on your health, but he did! He took his patient's needs very personally and he will be sorely missed God be with you, Dr. Byrd!
Message from Melodie Yates
December 27, 2016 5:56 PM

I am so deeply saddened by the sudden passing of the most wonderful,caring man and doctor that I've ever had!!!!! i saw him just a month ago in the Holy Family ER, he was caring and concerned as always!!! You see he had been my doctor for the past only adult doctor. You sir are irreplaceable!!! R.I.P. Dr. Byrd, there will never be another!!!!
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A candle was lit by cindy stroup on December 27, 2016 5:42 PM
Lit a candle in memory of Dr LeRoy James Byrd
Message from cindy stroup
December 27, 2016 5:40 PM

I came toHoly Family in 1997. I worked the medical floor before moving to the emergency department. I always loved when he was on call and admitting...he always had pages of orders which were often perplexing....and his hand writing was.....he practiced medicine not because he had to...but because he loved to. He was a calming force in stressful situations and frequently came up with answers when others would not. My husband was an ER physician who worked with him for more than 30 years. We are both heartbroken by the news of his passing but also know he is upstairs taking care of business. We are in Florida so will be sending prayers and love to our Spokane community.

Cindy and Ed Stroup
Message from E M Risse
December 27, 2016 3:30 PM

I have known the Byrd family since the early 50s. Their freezer plant at Byrd’s super market in Martin City, Montana kept our deer, elk and bear meat cold. We lived on that protein year-round.

In 1952 when we were freshman at Columbia Falls High School, I got to know LeRoy better as time went by. He and I were on the tumbling team – On the trampoline LeRoy soared, I bounced. On the parallel bars LeRoy flew, I could do push ups.

One of the high points of my college years was when Mel Ruder (publisher of the Hungry Horse News) decided to make a story out of the fact that three Columbia Falls graduates from the classes of 1955 and 1956 were elected president of the student bodies at three Universities in the state. Dick Knapton – Montana State University, LeRoy – Carroll College and EMR – University of Montana.

Mel was very proud of the high school and of those who went on to make the world a better place. I am sure Mel, his wife Ruth who taught English, as well as our favorite math teacher Mr. Stallings who coached LeRoy to a state wrestling title are all very proud to have contributed to LeRoy’s success in life.

When I was reliving old times with LeRoy and others at our 50th HS reunion he said he had lost track of his clipping from the HH News. I sent him a xerox so he could share it with his family.

LeRoy will be missed by many. LeRoy was one of the ‘most unforgettable people one will ever meet.” I never met a more gifted athlete or a more wonderful person.

My wife Linda only met LeRoy once at the reunion but just that brief meeting left a lasting impression with her.

I did not know him as a doctor but I was very pleased to see so many words of praise from R Ns with whom he worked.

Linda and I send our condolences and best wishes to the Byrd family and friends on the loss of a very special person.

Ed and Linda Risse
Message from Dawn Wright
December 27, 2016 3:25 PM

So sad to hear of Dr. Byrd's passing. He was our family physician over the past 29 years. We will miss his positive, upbeat attitude and gentle way of convincing my mother to do what she needed to do! He was a great man, well respected. We always felt his genuine love and concern for his patients and his family. He not only cared for his patients, but for their families as well. He was such a support when we lost our dad and a great help to us as we had to help our mother move on. It is rare to find someone who genuinely loves what they do. He had found his calling and was fulfilling it every day. We will miss you Dr. Byrd.

The Donna Koehn and Wright families
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A candle was lit by Dawn Wright on December 27, 2016 3:11 PM
Lit a candle in memory of Dr LeRoy James Byrd
Message from Lois Witherell
December 27, 2016 2:08 PM

Irene and family, I am so saddened by the passing of LeRoy. I had just visited with you Wed. 21st and you both looked so good and stated you both were doing well.
I guess we never know what God has in mind for us.
LeRoy was always up beat and caring, I loved working beside him. I will always have beautiful memories of our time together.
God's blessing on you during this sad time.
God's gift of time. we all need a time to grieve- quiet time for reflection to sift through memories and come to grips with what has happened. We need time for tears, not for one who is now at peace in heaven ,but for ourselves as we realize that things will never be the same. We all need a time to just "be" when we can open ourselves to God and let the reassurance of His everlasting love start to heal our broken hearts.
Praying for you and wishing you peace, Lois Witherell
p.s. I will be going to my son's home in AZ this Sat.. so I won't be here to attend service but you all will be in my thoughts and prayers.
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A candle was lit by Rachel Boblick on December 27, 2016 1:14 PM
Lit a candle in memory of Dr LeRoy James Byrd
Message from margaret bauer RN
December 26, 2016 5:36 PM

As an RN, I have many tributes to this man. He was the best MD I ever encountered in my 30 year career! Just like General Hospital, I entered the room and found him in the arms of another woman in the bed and my mouth flew open. They where cuddled together watching TV and before I could respond, he introduced me his mother. She chirped up just as fast and stated, "My son has more hair!" He was beyond legend in my eyes and she was his maker! Whaaaa!
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A candle was lit by Terri Rhys on December 26, 2016 4:00 PM
Lit a candle in memory of Dr LeRoy James Byrd
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A candle was lit by Lisa Mcbride on December 26, 2016 12:05 PM
Sent a gift in memory of Dr LeRoy James Byrd
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A candle was lit by Alana Barclay on December 26, 2016 9:30 AM
Lit a candle in memory of Dr LeRoy James Byrd
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A candle was lit by Toni Jefferson on December 26, 2016 9:20 AM
Lit a candle in memory of Dr LeRoy James Byrd
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A candle was lit by wendy pardun on December 26, 2016 6:23 AM
Lit a candle in memory of Dr LeRoy James Byrd
Message from Wendy Pardun
December 27, 2016 4:02 AM

Dr Byrd was an amazing man and will always be remembered for that .
Message from Chris Hanson
December 26, 2016 6:20 AM

So saddened to hear we lost Dr Byrd... My best memory was when my best friend Sue Lynch was dying and Dr. and Irene both came to her care home about 10pm. They came for comfort and last rites. He came because he cared.
Another memory, I am a nurse and worked at the hospital . Dr Byrd's handwriting was difficult to read.. I stood over him and said "write legible". Just kidding with him. You could do that with him. A great man
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