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Paul E. (JayR) Byrd Jr., 67, of Clarksburg, stepped into eternity on Tuesday, November 7, 2023 at 8:23am at J.W Ruby Memorial Hospital. He was born on August 19, 1956 in Buckhannon, WV a son of the late Paul E Byrd Sr. and Dureen C. Byrd of Richie Co. and Lost Creek.
JayR, as he is affectionally called by his hometown friends, was the last surviving member of his family. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his oldest sister, Deanna and brother in law, Herbie Bartlett of College Park, MD; middle sister, Susan Garner of Waynesboro, VA; his mother and father in law, Draper and Alberta McCauley of Camp Run Community near Galloway, WV.
JayR is survived by his wife of forty-four years, A Jane McCauley Byrd; three children, Jayson Paul Byrd of Linwood, NJ , where he is the Senior Pastor of Linwood Community Church and wife Jamie who teaches music in Linwood, NJ, daughter, Sarah Jayne Byrd Stutler of Clarksburg where she is the Compliance Coordinator for WVU Medicine Pediatric Research, son, Michael Draper Byrd of Martinsburg, where he is the assistant principal for Berkeley County Schools.
JayR is a proud grandfather of five grandchildren who were the joy of his life, Karrigan (15), Amayah (13), Draper (13), Maddilyn (10) and Ryker (10). Pap was so proud of their academic, athletic and musical accomplishments. All five grandchildren play at least two musical instruments each.
He is also survived by two brother in laws, Ron (Debbie) McCauley and Wilf Garner of Waynesboro, VA; beloved nephew, Herb Bartlett; niece, Diana Lynn Gilligan (Sean); Cheryl Nguyen (Tony); Kevin (Sarah) McCauley; and other close family members.
Paul, as he was academically known, graduated from West Virginia Wesleyan College with a BA in Political Science and English where he was All American in Football and Baseball, Fairmont State University with a BA in Secondary Education Social Studies K-12 and Behavioral Disorder. He earned his master’s degree in Secondary Education Administration and Leadership from Salem International and a masters degree in Bible from Mountaineer Baptist College.
Paul worked for Chessie B&O Railroad System for ten years. After a back injury he began his teaching career at Pressley Ridge. He was later moved to South Harrison High School (his alma mater) to teach self-contained BD for several years. He later taught at WI Middle School teaching social studies, then to Robert C. Byrd teaching AP government and AP United States History. He then transferred to Bridgeport High School to teach Civics, US History, World History, Psychology and Sociology.
Paul began coaching in 1985 with youth sports, then became the coach for the South Harrison Middle School football team. He later served as assistant high school football coach for South Harrison, head coach for varsity girls’ volleyball, wrestling, baseball and track and also coached WI Middle School football and wrestling and RCB track.
Paul and his wife Jane retired from Bridgeport High School in December 2019 with plans to travel and tinker around the house. He was always working on one or two “projects,” but so be it, the call to substitute kept ringing and he loved it. Paul and his wife have subbed full time at Mountaineer Middle School where he fell in love with more faculty, students and athletes.
His favorite family travel locations were Israel, Hawaii (every other year) London, Boston, Africa, Gatlinburg/ Pigeon Forge, TN and every year at Thanksgiving, Williamsburg, VA, every year between Christmas and New Year’s, Myrtle Beach every summer in July, June trips to Outer Banks (Nags Head) when the kids were younger.
Coach Byrd’s legacy will probably be remembered as meeting kids where they were loving, encouraging them to become their best.
He loved preaching, teaching and coaching.
Pastor Byrd was saved at West Milford Baptist Church. He later attended Oak Mound Evangelical Church where he and his wife taught junior church. They later joined West Milford Baptist Church where they taught junior church, teen Sunday School and were youth leaders. It was here that Pastor Byrd grew the most spiritually under Pastor Sam Crites at West Milford and his many opportunities to take trips to the Wilds Christian Camp in Brevard, NC, He later joined Bible Baptist Temple with Pastor Charles Madaus. It was there he went on two Mission trips to East Africa, where he felt the call to preach. A Call to preach is a call to prepare once he completed his Bible degree. He was called to Pastor Mount Vernon Baptist Church in Brownton, WV. Here he faithfully served for the last ten years. During Covid he became known as the Back-Porch Preacher where he delivered his Wednesday night messages on Facebook where hundreds joined each Wednesday to listen. He was often heard saying he had the best congregation in the whole world.
Family will receive friends at Davis Funeral Home, 124 Olen Thomas Drive, Clarksburg, WV 26301, on Friday, November 10, 2023 from 2:00–8:00 PM. A Funeral Service will be held in the Chapel of Davis Funeral Home on Saturday, November 11, 2023 at 3:00 PM with Pastor Jayson Byrd officiating. Interment will follow at Lost Creek Seventh Day Baptist Church Cemetery. A dinner will be available for all family and friends at the West Milford Community Center following the graveside. Online condolences can be made to www.Davisfuneralhomewv.com. Davis Funeral Home is honored to serve the Byrd family.