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Hugh Lester Byrd
March 21, 1934 ~ November 14, 2018 (age 84)
March 21, 1934 – November 14, 2018 (84 yrs)
Hugh Lester Byrd grew up in Wingate, Texas, a farm boy loving farm life and playing football and baseball. He played football for legendary Coach Gordon Wood, 'the winningest high school football coach in Texas". In 1951, Lester came to Texas A&M to study Agriculture and was a ‘walk-on’ baseball player who became an All-Southwest Conference - Right Fielder and was Captain of the 1955 Southwest Conference Champion Texas Aggies. The story goes…the Aggies were behind Rice, in a game that would clinch the SWC Championship. In the, 5th inning, Coach Paul Bear Bryant emphatically told Lester, through the chain link fence in right field, that ‘if you guys don’t get your stuff together, you guys are going to lose this game!’. The message was relayed to the boys and they rallied to win the game and the Baseball Southwest Conference Championship in 1955!
Lester met and married Mollie Ruth Sheffield of Bryan in 1954. They were happily married for 43 years and raised 3 children: Lester Owen, Lisa Kay and Lori Gay Byrd. Lester Sr. was also a ‘well known’ High School and College Football Official (referee) in Texas for over 20yrs. Lester had a long and distinguished career, retiring from the United States Department of Agriculture, after over 30 years of service. People came from all over Texas to attend a ‘special retirement event’ just for Lester in College Station. Mollie passed away shortly after Lester’s retirement in 1997, from breast cancer. In 2005, Lester married Joanne Stansel of Alvin and they continued to live in College Station until 2014. Lester and Joanne moved to Friendswood, Texas, and lived under ‘the loving and watchful eyes’ of Joanne’s Daughter and Son-in-law, Julie and David Adame.
Hugh Lester Byrd passed away on November 14, 2018. There was never a kinder, more people-loving person than Lester. People that knew Lester often said ‘to know Lester was to love Lester’…He kept his wits, his positive attitude and his life loving ‘Fighting Texas Aggie Spirit’ until the very end.
Lester is survived by his wife Joanne Byrd, his sister Mary Lea Marks of Midland, Texas and his loving children Lester, Lisa, Lori, Julie, David, Craig Brady, and grandchildren Megan Brady and Adam Brantley.
There will be a graveside service at College Station City Cemetery on Saturday , November 24th at 1pm and immediately following , a gathering at Hillier Funeral Home of COLLEGE STATION to reminisce and enjoy talking about a man who touched many lives!