orangeleader.com (Orange, Texas)

Local News

January 11, 2014

Community leader Darby Byrd Sr. passes away at 71

ORANGE — Darby Byrd Sr., a well-respected man about town and the business community, died earlier this week. He was 71.

Darby R. Byrd Sr. died on Tuesday, Jan. 7, at Baptist Hospital in Orange. Funeral services will be held at 10:30 a.m., Saturday, Jan. 11, at First United Methodist Church, 502 N. Sixth St. in Orange. Friends are invited to join the family at a reception to be held in the Praise Center of the church following the service.

Byrd has always been known as friendly man with a big smile. He was well-known and respected within the community and, especially, in the business community.

Byrd retired as CEO and President of Orange Savings Bank in 2008. He joined Orange Savings Bank in 1996 and had been involved in the banking industry in Orange County for more than 25 years at that time.

“It’s a tremendous loss for the community, his friends and his family,” said Stephen Lee, president of First Financial Bank in Orange. “I’m broken hearted about it. He was a great friend and a mentor to me. There’s no telling where I would be now without him.”

Along with his familiarity in the business world, Byrd was equally involved in the community.

“His passing leaves a big void in our community,” Lee added. “He occupied a large leadership position in this community that will not be easily filled.”

He served on the Orange Savings Bank Board of Directors following his retirement and continued in that capacity following the bank’s merger with First Financial in 2013. He served on various other board of directors in the community, including the Lutcher Theater for the Performing Arts, United Way of Orange County, Orange Rotary Club, Salvation Army of Orange County, Slade Memorial Foundation, the Three Rivers Council of the Boy Scouts of America, Little Cypress Lions Club and more.

Byrd, who was born in Kosse, Texas in 1942, will be buried at Canon Mathis Cemetery in Waller, Texas on Sunday, Jan. 12, during a private graveside service.

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