Robert “Rob” Bond Byrd, II
September 7, 1955 – October 9, 2023
Charlotte, North Carolina – Rob Byrd’s legacy is reflected in this fundamental fact about his life: In the 45 years he spent in accounting, he did his best never to bring work home. During the day, he gave everything he had to helping clients. The rest of his time was devoted to his family, and to the passions that brought him joy.
The oldest of Robert and Joyce Byrd’s three children, Rob grew up in Morganton in the N.C. foothills. He graduated from Morganton High School, then earned a B.S. degree in Business Administration from UNC-Chapel Hill. His Chapel Hill roots – he was born there when his parents were in graduate school – propelled Rob’s passion for the Tar Heels, especially basketball. This explains his 11 trips to Final Fours. In his own words, Rob was a “Tar Heel born and bred.”
Rob earned a Master of Accounting degree from the University of Texas at Austin. Rob began his career as a CPA with the Arthur Andersen accounting firm in Atlanta in 1979, then moved to the company’s Charlotte office in 1980. In 2002, the Arthur Andersen Carolinas offices merged with another accounting firm, Grant Thornton. Rob was proud to have engineered that transition, along with other Arthur Andersen Carolinas partners. He enjoyed serving publicly and privately owned companies, nonprofits, and individuals. He worked with some clients for several decades, appreciating the rewards of building and sustaining relationships. Such was his enthusiasm for the work, Rob continued as a tax consultant when he retired as a partner in 2018.
He displayed that same devotion in serving the community. The Byrds were longtime members of Myers Park United Methodist Church. Organizations to which Rob gave his time and energy included Children’s Theatre of Charlotte, Mint Museum of Art, Carolinas Palliative Care and Hospice Group, and United Methodist Foundation of Western North Carolina. He served on the board of the Tax Center at UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School. He was also a member of several Kiwanis Clubs for more than 40 years, most recently the Kiwanis Club of Charlotte where he was the Chairman of the Foundation Committee which oversees the operation of the Charlotte Kiwanis Foundation.
For relaxation, Rob and Shirley relished family beach trips to their home in Litchfield, S.C. With friends, Rob was fortunate enough to have attended The Masters for 30-plus years, several U.S. Opens, the 2012 Ryder Cup, and baseball games at Wrigley Field and Fenway Park, among others.
Rob and Shirley owned a summer residence for the last 15 years in the N.C. Mountains, most recently as a member of Linville Ridge Country Club. There, Rob learned the game of six-wicket croquet and that became his primary summer activity. He reached the skill level of playing in the top flight of tournaments throughout the Southeast including Florida. He particularly enjoyed his time at tournaments in Pinehurst. His passion for competitive croquet progressed to serving a term as corporate secretary for the U.S. Croquet Association. Rob embraced the last five years of his life after he retired and spent more time with Shirley, his children and grandchildren, croquet, traveling, and reading.
Rob lived a wonderful life and has left an incredible legacy for what it means to be a servant leader. A heart attack took him unexpectedly on October 9, 2023. He will be missed by many.
Rob is survived by his beloved wife of 42 years, Shirley, of Charlotte; their two daughters – Kathryn Byrd and her husband, James Hiller, of Raleigh, and Caroline Hornburg and her husband, Dave, of Christiansburg, V.A.; two grandchildren – Rebecca Joy and Paul Robert Hornburg; his two siblings – Dixon Byrd and his wife, Jeanie, and Sara Lou Succop and her husband, Ben, all of whom live in the Byrds’ hometown of Morganton, N.C.; and several nieces and nephews.
A celebration of Rob’s life will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, October 21, 2023, at Myers Park United Methodist Church, 1501 Queens Road, Charlotte, N.C. 28207. The service will be livestreamed through www.myersparkumc.org. The family will receive friends in Jubilee Hall following the service.
In lieu of flowers, gifts in Rob’s memory can be made to:
United Methodist Foundation of Western North Carolina, Inc., 13816 Professional Center Drive, Suite 100; Huntersville, N.C. 28078. Please note Rob Byrd Memorial Fund on the memo line.
UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School (www.kenan-flagler.unc.edu), McColl Building, Campus Box 3490, 300 Kenan Center Drive, Chapel Hill, N.C. 27599-3490. ATTN: Gift Processing with the designation #173432 - The Robert B. Byrd, II Master of Accounting Fellowship Endowment.
U.S. Croquet Association’s High Performance & Talent Development Program (which sponsors training and facilitating young croquet players to compete internationally) (USCA Contributions), 700 Florida Mango Road, West Palm Beach, F.L. 33406.
Arrangements are in the care of Kenneth W. Poe Funeral & Cremation Service, 1321 Berkeley Ave., Charlotte, N.C. 28204; (704) 641-7606. Online condolences can be shared at www.kennethpoeservices.com.