Kenneth “Ken/Kenny” Byrd suddenly passed away on June 22, 2021 in San Diego, California. Ken was 67.
Born in Chicago, Illinois on March 15, 1954, to Lucy and “Tiny” Byrd, Ken became a social activist while still a teenager attending DuSable and Dunbar High Schools. He often spent his free time working on civil rights issues at People United to Save Humanity and Operation Breadbasket.
Ken graduated from DuSable in 1972 and continued his social activism in college. He worked tirelessly with the Black Student Union at Kennedy-King College. He also attended Illinois State University and was an active member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.
Ken was also passionately dedicated to the welfare of children. Following college, he went to work in Normal, Illinois at The Baby Fold, a Christian organization dedicated to supporting and strengthening children, families, and communities. He spent 13 years at The Baby Fold, bringing light into the lives of disadvantaged children and providing them with a shot at a decent life.
He later worked at Mitsubishi Motors, from which he retired in 2013. During his time at Mitsubishi, Ken turned many of his co-workers into lifelong friends and treasured members of his ever-growing extended family. That was, in many respects, the essence of who he was: a man filled with so much warmth and love that others naturally gravitated towards him.
He loved playing baseball, basketball and riding his bike. He loved bike-riding so much that he raced in the Pack Rack yearly. He was also a huge movie buff and comic book collector.
Following his retirement Ken moved to San Diego with LaVerne, his new wife. He enjoyed acting, concerts, music festivals, Broadway shows, traveling the world, photography and spending time with his family.
Ken will be remembered by us all as a gentle loving giant with a great smile, a friendly greeting, and a willingness to help everyone. He is survived by his wife, LaVerne Cose; two daughters, Candice Byrd and Alyssa Cose-Primus; grandchildren, Jahzara, Amir, and LaReigna Byrd; and a host of cousins, nephews, nephews and nieces.
A MEMORIAL SERVICE FOR ALL TO ATTEND WILL BE HELD THURSDAY, JULY 8, 2021 AT 1 O'CLOCK PM (PST).
THIS EVENT WILL ALSO BE LIVESTREAMED FOR THOSE WHOM ARE UNABLE TO ATTEND THE CELEBRATION OF KENNETH'S LIFE.
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