1910 – 2006
Charles Michael Byron was born in Meriden, Conn., Feb. 26, 1910. The son of William and Kate (Burke) Byron, “Charlie” attended local schools, including trade school from 1926 to 1928, and became a factory worker. When World War II began, he joined the U.S. Army at age 31. During his wartime tenure, he earned a California high school diploma which he took with him to the China-Burma warfronts. Upon his return to Meriden, he entered Arnold College (now the University of Bridgeport) and earned a bachelor’s degree, followed by a master’s, from the University of Hartford in 1953. He began his career as Director of Physical Education at Lincoln Middle School and, after 33 years in the Meriden school system, retired in 1976.
He has been actively involved as a volunteer in many organizations, particularly those related to physical fitness and to helping the disabled. He is the founder of “Special Day for Special People” – an annual event – and the developer of the program known as “Helping Elderly People” (HEP). In 1979 he received a citation from the State of Connecticut for his efforts, followed by the Salvation Army’s “The Others Award” for his work on behalf of the elderly and disabled. A member of the Governor’s Commission on Physical Fitness, Byron has written a children’s book, The Story of Rags – the proceeds from which go to people with cancer or with disabilities. Byron founded the “A Week To Remember” program, which subsequently became a statewide program.
He and his wife, Rae, are the parents of two children, both of whom became teachers and his family continue to reside in Meriden.