Archived Story

Richard Ormsby Byrne

Published 12:00am Thursday, June 20, 2013

Dec. 17, 1938 – June 14, 2013

CROCKETT, Texas — A memorial Mass for retired Lt. Col. Richard Ormsby Byrne, 74, of Houston County Lake, Texas, who died Friday, June 14, 2013, at his residence, were 6 p.m. Wednesday at St. Francis of the Tejas Catholic Church with the Rev. Peter McGrath officiating.

Burial of ashes with military honors will be 10 a.m. Saturday, June 29, 2013, at the Natchez City Cemetery under the direction of Callaway-Allee Funeral Home in Crockett, Texas.

Lt. Col. Byrne was born Dec. 17, 1938, in Natchez, the son of Edwin and Ilene Ormsby Byrne. He had been living at the Houston County Lake for the past eight years.

Lt. Col. Byrne was a veteran of the U.S. Air Force and retired after 20 years of service. During his long and varied career as an engineer, Richard was responsible for helping to put a man on the moon — the formation of a geocentric Global Positioning System, better known as GPS, as well as the design and testing of the B-1B and the B-2 stealth bomber.

Richard Byrne loved his family and his country. He was a member of the Kappa Sigma Fraternity at the University of Southwestern Louisiana in Lafayette, La., R.C. Flyer Club and the St. Francis of the Tejas Catholic Church.

He was preceded in death by his parents; one brother, Donald Byrne; two sisters, Ilene Parker and Eleanor Merrill; one niece, Eleanor Parker; and one nephew, Michael Byrne.

Survivors include his wife, Sondra Byrne; three children, Kevin Richard Byrne and wife, Cherie, of North Smithfield, R.I., Patricia Leah Harrington and husband, Doug, of Mesa, Ariz., and Matthew William Byrne and wife, Kerry, of Houston County Lake; 12 grandchildren, Catherine Byrne, Collin Byrne, Cameron Byrne, Shannon Harrington, Robyn Harrington, Tyler Byrne, Daniel Byrne, Manon Felos, Anthony Felos, Eliza Felos, William Felos and Alyssa Felos; and a number of nieces, nephews and other relatives.

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