September 14, 2009 - Issue: Vol. 155, No. 129 — Daily Edition111th Congress (2009 - 2010) - 1st Session
HONORING JONATHAN BYRD; Congressional Record Vol. 155, No. 129
(Extensions of Remarks - September 14, 2009)
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[Extensions of Remarks] [Page E2254] From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov] HONORING JONATHAN BYRD ______ HON. MIKE PENCE of indiana in the house of representatives Monday, September 14, 2009 Mr. PENCE. Madam Speaker, I rise today with deep sorrow to mark the passing of a true friend of the state of Indiana. Jonathan Byrd will forever be regarded as a savvy businessman who grew a family-owned cafeteria into the world's largest banquet facility and owned a successful racecar team. But it was his generosity and deep faith that will cast Jonathan Byrd's most lasting legacy. Jonathan Byrd often told people as a teenager that he would be a millionaire by the age of 25. Operating Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurants in central Indiana in the 1970's and 80's, Jonathan did in fact become a millionaire in his first quarter century on Earth. However, those closest to Jonathan understood that those millions were not for himself, but instead a means in which to carry out the will of the Lord. He funded many Christian schools, financed mission trips, and helped put more than 500 million copies of Scripture in the hands of people around the world. Millions of people have dined at Jonathan Byrd's Cafeteria since it opened in 1988, but this enterprise wasn't the only business venture Jonathan Byrd found success in. He Founded Byrd Enterprises of Arizona--their products include Intercontinental, Hilton and Marriott Hotels. Jonathan Byrd's Rare Books and Bibles quickly became the nation's largest dealer, importer, and restorer of ancient Bibles and theology books under his stewardship. Like many Hoosiers, Jonathan had a passion for auto racing that led him to form his own race team. True to form, Jonathan applied his business sense to his race team and of the 16 cars that he entered in the Indianapolis 500, he is credited with 7 top-ten finishes. He was also blessed with a wonderful family: wife Virginia of 35 years; two sons, Jonathan and David; and many grandchildren. My prayers will be with them in the days and weeks ahead. Though Jonathan Byrd is no longer with us, we can all take comfort knowing that the Byrd legacy will live on because of the example he leaves behind. Jonathan Byrd personified the American Dream. Though he was a well known businessman, Jonathan was guided by strong principles, anchored by his faith and had a servant's heart. Let that be the standard to which we all aspire. ____________________