Samuel L. Byrd, Sr  "Sammy"



Samuel Lee Byrd Sr. son of Ernest Byrd Sr. and Annie Lee Collins-Byrd, was born on August 9, 1950 in Hollandale, Mississippi.

Sam received his primary and secondary education from Traylake Elementary and Simmons High School and relocated to Indianapolis where he attended Arsenal Technical High School.

Sam accepted Jesus Christ and was baptized at Mount Zion Baptist Church of Hollandale, Mississippi. He later recommitted his life as an adult and joined New Horizons Church. He served in the parking lot ministry for many years. Sam had a unique way of ministering to church members with his big smiles and those “bear like” hugs which he was famous for.

Sam would make the seniors stop their cars at the door so he could have the other volunteer’s park for them so they didn’t have to walk too far. If it was raining they were ushered into the church with a helping hand and an umbrella. Noticing his leadership skills, the current ministry facilitator even asked him once if he would lead the parking lot ministry but he chose to just remain a loyal volunteer. He was so caring in his service to God that it spilled over to bless his team members. On those icy cold days he would often stop by the local Starbucks to get coffee or hot chocolate for the whole team so they could all stay warm.

Sam was employed by N.K. Hurst Co Inc. after moving to Indianapolis where he worked for many years, he then worked delivering furniture for a local business. He also worked construction at John Ely Construction Company before realizing he had a passion for asphalt and paving. He first partnered with World of Trades and was not only involved as a laborer, but also gravitated to building the business by acquiring new contracts.

Sam was very successful in business, building business relationships with potential clients and managing people can easy to him, he soon decided to start his own company. Affordable Services, Inc. was then created which allowed him to run his own asphalt and paving operation, he soon expand his efforts to work for HUD on government foreclosure clean-outs contracts. He continued forming partnerships; one with Joe Garrett at the 30th Street Variety were they worked together for many years as well as being good friends. After Joe’s untimely death, Sam continued to run the business himself before closing it and later partnering with another friend as a business manager where he ran the day to day operations until his health issues lead him to spend more time away. In 1991 he started yet another venture; a Bar-B-Que restaurant called “Mama Byrd’s” in Anderson, Indiana, which was managed by his sister Anne Castel.

Sam had a way with names, faces, and numbers and often because of his memory, he was called upon to help close friends remember people, locations and phone numbers. His skills could have easily qualified him for an accounting job; however he was not the one to be confined to an office and preferred outdoor work that was less confining.

Sam loved his family, nieces, nephews, brothers and sisters and made each of them feel they were his favorites.

He especially loved his children, 24 grandchildren and 3 great-grandchildren which he enjoyed spending time with more and more as his heath declined. Even during his dialysis treatments he had a way of lighting up the place with his big smiles, jokes, and laughter so everyone could focusing on the positive rather than the treatments. He was always the Dad, Brother and Uncle that everyone came to when they needed a heavy or someone to come to their defense, bail them out in a pinch no matter the time or day or night. Sam was the call they made even in the wee hours of the morning when they needed help and he would always get out of his bed to come to their rescue, it was just who he was at the core.

Sam really enjoyed playing cards and as a member of Mellow Fellows Social Club he enjoyed traveled with them to many social events, casinos and NFL games. It was nothing for Sam to be at the card table at family functions, numerous trips to Oxford, Ohio on weekends to play “penny ante” poker with his senior in law aunts and uncles as well as the annual Byrd reunions. Sam was the one that everyone wanted on their side because he was always on the winning team and his gift for numbers also transitioned to his card playing skills. As Sam became more home bound it did not keep him from playing Solitaire on the computer, Skip Bo, Phase 10 and teaching his grandchildren to play.

Sam was united in marriage to Helen Jean White shortly after high school on November 6, 1969 and they were blessed with a son who carries his name. Sam met Charyl Davis in 1988; they were united in marriage on September 18, 1991. Sam and Charyl spend 29 years together and last September renewed their wedding vows after celebrating 25 years of marriage with family and friends.

Sam departed this life on Thursday, April 27, 2017 at the age of 66 years, 8 months and 19 days. He was proceeded in death by his parents, three brothers, Ernest Byrd Jr, Levi A. Byrd, Wardell Byrd and one sister, Beulah Byrd-Hill.

Sam leaves to cherish his memory: his loving and devoted wife Charyl, four daughters, Carmen (Derrick) Sanders, Monica Davis (Todd fiancé’) both of Houston, TX,, Tasha (Derrick) Briscoe, Amanda Brown of Indianapolis, six sons, Samuel Lee Byrd Jr (Robyn), Jay Michael Watts, Chris Davis (Chenile), Marcus Davis (Tajuana), Chanse Brown of Indianapolis and Jabbar Watts of Atlanta, Ga,. Twenty-four grandchildren and three great grandchildren. Five brothers, James Sr., Johnnie, Asie Byrd (Rosa), Lovester, Willie, Jerry, and Shelby (Susie), two sisters Carolyn Gee and Annie Castel; a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and close friends.