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Willie C. Byrd

January 31, 1941 September 24, 2021
Willie C. Byrd
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Obituary for Willie C. Byrd

A celebration of Willie's life will occur on

Friday, October 8, 2021

Enon Tabernacle Baptist Church
230 West Coulter Street
Philadelphia, Pa. 19144

Viewing: 8:00 - 10:00 a.m.

Service: 10:00 a.m.

Interment will conclude at George Washington Memorial park
80 Stenton Avenue
Plymouth Meeting, Pa. 19462

We request family and friends who prefer
to send plants or flowers,
to coordinate with one of the
following reliable local florists:..

June's Floral Design: (267) 376-7621
Overhill Flowers: (215 ) 473-1842
Simply Floral: ( 610) 622-7980

Have the florist deliver
your selection
to the church no
later than 8:30 a.m.
the day of the service.


Life Story

Willie Carnall Byrd was born on January 31st, 1941 in the steel mill town of Aliquippa Pa. He
was the second child born to John W and Ethel Anderson Byrd. Affectionately called Carnall he
and his four siblings, Regis, Blanche, Alvin and Cassandra loss their father when Carnall was a
teenager. He was charged by his father, as his final wish before his passing, to protect and
assist his mother in the raising and care of his siblings. He took the responsibility seriously and
after graduating from Aliquippa High School, he worked for several years in the J&P Steel Mill.
He spent his teenage years becoming the man his father inspired him to become.

In 1966, he joined the Aliquippa Police Department where he worked as a patrolman for two
years. During his short tenure he established himself as a liaison between the police and the
community during times of racial unrest. In January of 1968 he became a trailblazer, becoming
the first African American employed by the Beaver County District Attorney’s Office as a
detective. His consummate professionalism catapulted him to his next position with the
Pennsylvania Crime Commission in 1972. He was the first African American appointed to the
position of Special Agent. This served as a historical first for this organization; he worked on
thousands of cases in Southwestern Pennsylvania until 1994. Following the closing of the
Crime Commission in 1994 he operated his own private investigation business, providing
services for visiting nurses and prominent law firms in Philadelphia. In 1998, Willie was hired as
Special Agent for the New Jersey State Commission of Investigation. He was the Senior
Special Agent before he retired in 2015 after a distinguished career in law enforcement.

Willie was involved in a number of organizations throughout his career including the County
and State Detectives of Pennsylvania. He was a member of the Police Chiefs Association of
Southeastern Pennsylvania and served for many years as a loyal member of The National
Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE). He was a member of the
Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #92. Willie participated in all of the aforementioned
organizations with dignity, support, and dedicated service. The recipient of numerous awards
and highlighted for his participation in high profile cases in newspaper articles, he was last
acknowledged by his beloved ENON in 2015 for a Distinguished Police Service Award.

Willie is the proud father of two children from a previous marriage. His son Jonathan and
daughter Crystal were his pride and joy. Jonathan is serving in the Air Force currently working at
the US Embassy in Morocco while raising his daughter Madison. Willie often reflected on his
son embracing life with the zeal and commitment that parallels his own. His unconditional love
and support for all of his children are a tribute to his character as a man. His dedication and
love for his younger sister Cassandra, who is handicapped, has never ceased. He cherished
his grandchildren and lived to see his beloved Jamea reach adulthood and embark on a
successful career as a model. He stressed academic excellence and all the grandchildren
knew to report their grades to their Pop pop. He took pride in sharing stories with them and
quizzing them about school and their personal choices.

In August of 2000, he married the love of his life, Elizabeth (Toni) McBride-Patterson. They
have shared twenty-one beautiful years together. They shared a mutual love of GOD and in
October 28, 2008 the two officially became members of Enon Tabernacle Baptist Church. They
worshiped together every Sunday until the Covid shutdown and they continued to worship
virtually with the ENON family. The couple traveled, loved taking cruises and spending time
with family and friends. Over the course of his lifetime he developed close friends but his
Aliquippa friends remained an important part of his life. Jesse Champ and Harold Johnson
were like brothers to Carnall and remained his steadfast encouragers throughout his illness.
His beloved cousin Richard, who proceeded him in death, was a close family companion.

Willie was a man who embraced life with the determination to give his very best in everything
he did. His commitment to excellence was a hallmark of his character. On September 24th
2021, GOD called him to his eternal resting place. He leaves to cherish his memory: his wife
Toni, Sisters: Blanche and Cassandra , Sons: Terrance and Jonathan Daughter Crystal
Grandchildren: Jamea , Madison, Brooklyn, and Antonio, Mother-in-law: Frances McBride,
Brother-laws: Rob and Richard. Devoted Friends: Jesse Champ, Harold Johnson and Ed Oliver.
There are a host of relatives, friends and neighbors who mourn the passing of our beloved
Carnall and because of GOD’s grace we know we will see him again. We thank our God for the
blessing of knowing this amazing man.

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