William Byrd Rawlings Jr.

william rawlings

November 4, 1939 ~ August 18, 2021

Born in: Richmond, VA
Resided in: Asheville, NC

William Byrd Rawlings Jr., of Asheville, passed away August 18th, 2021, surrounded by family at his home.

Byrd was born November 4, 1939, in Richmond, Virginia. He was the first-born son of William Byrd Rawlings and Isabel Sayres Rawlings and is survived by his brother Peter Rawlings and sisters Isabel Cohen, Ann Colby and Polly Hamel.

Byrd graduated St. Christopher’s School in Richmond Virginia and was class of 1962 at Virginia Military Institute. Byrd was a wonderful husband who married the true love of his life Sandra Burton, “his blondie”. Together they shared 61 years of wedded bliss and raised four children. Byrd was a devoted husband and father and dear friend to all who knew him. He truly was a Virginia gentleman. Byrd was an avid golfer who had a remarkable seven holes in one.

Byrd is survived by his wife Sandra Rawlings, his four children Byrd Rawlings III (Jenny), Lee Johnson (Jeff), Paige Alspaugh (Dean), Scotty Rawlings (Kumi), and his thirteen grandchildren Emily, William, Sarah, Caroline and Coburn Burroughs and Margaret Rawlings, Coco, Peter and Whitney Johnson, Owen, Clay and Sayres Alspaugh, Burton and Tobi Rawlings and great granddaughter Isabelle Grace.

A Memorial Service will be held at 2:00 PM on Friday, August 27 at Trinity Episcopal Church in downtown Asheville. His family will receive friends at the church immediately following the service. Per COVID protocols, face coverings will be required while inside the church.

In lieu of flowers, Byrd’s family requests that memorial donations be made to assist the residents of Haywood County as they recover from recent the devastation caused by flooding. Please visit HelpingHaywood.org for information about donations.

Groce Funeral Home’s Lake Julian team is assisting the family.


Memorial Service: August 27, 2021 2:00 pm

Trinity Episcopal Church
60 Church Street
Asheville, NC 28801


Visitation: August 27, 2021 3:00 pm

Trinity Episcopal Church
60 Church Street
Asheville, NC 28801


Funeral Home Assisting The Family:

Groce Funeral Home at Lake Julian
72 Long Shoals Road
Arden, NC 28704


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  1. Sandra and family we share in your pain during this time . I truly had many happy times with Byrd on the golf course and friendly gatherings… We will all miss him and his bubbly personality saying ….”Hey gang , did you miss me “…..We all will never forget all the fun Sandra we had together ….May our prayers and God’s Grace give you and your family strength and peace at this time…. much love, ronnie&pattysue

  2. I’m so glad a group of Brother Rat’s had a great phone conversation with Byrd a few weeks ago. He was happy and cordial as always. God bless you and the family “Blondie”. He will surely rest in peace.

  3. Byrd was a kind, friendly man. Always smiling. I knew him from BFCC. He always gave me a hug. The world needs more people like Byrd. My sympathy and love goes out to all the family.

  4. We love you Blondie, so sorry we cannot be there. We send all of our love and we will miss him
    forever, he was always a loving brother and great person to be with. We will be watching
    the service here with Polly. Love and big hugs.

  5. Just heard this news & so sad to lose such a wonderful person & friend. He and Sandra have been such an example of marriage & true love. RIP Byrd, you will be truly missed!

  6. Oh my. I have tried to reach you for years. I don’t do FB but see your posts sometimes.
    Please write me. I was wondering that Byrd was never mentioned but it appears he had a long life.
    My significant other died this March.
    Loved seeing the picture of Byrd. He remained good looking.

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