Claude Nelson Byrd Jr.

Published 4:01 pm Thursday, October 15, 2020

Oct. 9, 1942 – Oct. 9, 2020

OXFORD — Claude Nelson Byrd Jr. died on Friday, October 9, 2020, surrounded by loved ones at Baptist Medical Center in Oxford, MS at the age of 78.
Nelson is survived by his children Melanie and husband Mark Calhoun of Southaven MS, Debbie and husband Chris Rowan of New Albany MS, David Byrd of Saltillo MS, and their mother Carol Coker Byrd of New Albany MS. He is also survived by his brother John Harold Byrd of Covington LA. Nelson’s grandchildren are David Calhoun, Angie (Daniel) Ray, Chris Calhoun, Emily Chastain, John Mark Calhoun, Anna Claire Calhoun, Carina Rowan, Christiana Rowan, Charlie Mac Rowan, and Caleb Rowan and 12 great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents Claude Nelson Byrd Sr. and Ruby Lindley Byrd of Natchez MS.
Nelson was born on October 9, 1942 in Natchez where he lived most of his life. In high school he was the baseball team’s Babe Ruth All-Star, Batting Champion, and never made a single error. He graduated with honors as “Most Intellectual” from Natchez Adams High School in 1960. He graduated with special honors from Mississippi State University in 1964 in Accounting where he was a member of Phi Kappa Phi, Beta Gamma Sigma, Beta Alpha Psi, and the Accounting Club. After graduation he joined Ernst and Ernst Accounting Firm in Memphis TN. He was a professional accountant and manager of several businesses and also worked for the cities of Natchez, Clinton, and Grenada as City Manager until his retirement in 2005.
Nelson married Carol Coker in New Albany MS in 1964. In 1969, they moved to Natchez where they raised three children. Nelson enjoyed hunting, fishing, and horse-back riding. He won many motorcycle races, three-wheeler races, golf tournaments and even got his pilot’s license. He was accomplished at just about anything he set out to do.
In 2015, he moved to New Albany MS to be closer to his family where he was a member of Hillcrest Baptist Church. His Sunday School class will serve as pallbearers.
Funeral services will be held at noon on Saturday, October 17, 2020 at Hillcrest Baptist Church in New Albany, MS. Rev. Charlie Davis will officiate. Visitation will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. on Friday, October 16, 2020 and from 11 p.m. until the service time at noon on Saturday, October 17, 2020. All visitation will occur at Hillcrest Baptist Church with social distancing and face masks requested.
Memorials may be made to Hillcrest Baptist Church Sanctuary Fund.
United Funeral Service is honored to be trusted with these arrangements. For online condolences and guest registry, please visit