Byron de SousaOn Saturday, September 27, Texas cyclists lost a great friend and advocate as Byron de Sousa, former BikeTexas Safe Routes to School (SRTS) Outreach Coordinator, passed away at age 59 after a long battle with prostate cancer. Born in Brazil but later becoming an American citizen, Byron made Fort Worth his home for the last 17 years. Those who knew him valued his kindness, intelligence and readiness with a joke. We at BikeTexas will miss Byron greatly.
“Byron had a rich personality to go with his enchanting Brazilian accent. I loved the way he would say, “KC, my friend” when he started an explanation. Byron was a brilliant scholar and brought expertise and experience to our team. Byron was very involved with local Fort Worth bicycle advocacy and influenced the city’s installation of sixty miles of shared lane markings (sharrows) and cycling signage. Now, miles of sharrows on Fort Worth city streets will serve as a reminder to us all of Byron’s impact. Just as important, thousands of children will be more active and safer cyclists because of the time and attention Byron devoted to encouraging biking and walking to school and bicycle safety education,” said KC Jones, fellow BikeTexas SRTS Outreach Coordinator.
During Byron’s long illness, his family incurred significant medical bills. In lieu of flowers, you may help the family defray those costs by making a donation to Byron’s Memorial Fund at Washington Mutual Bank – account # 8850713849. A memorial service will be announced this week.
Byron joined Texas Bicycle Coalition staff as a BikeTexas SRTS Fort Worth Local Outreach Coordinator in January 2006. He had served as the chairman of the Fort Worth City Planning Commission. He was involved in the planning and construction of bicycle routes and trails with the City of Fort Worth and the North Central Texas Council of Governments. He also worked as a professor at University of North Texas Health Science Center and Tarrant County College. Prior to moving to Fort Worth, where he lived for 17 years, Byron received his M.D. from the University of Brasilia, served his medical internship and anesthesiology and pain management residency at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles County Medical Center and received his Ph.D. in physiological chemistry from Ohio State University. As a community leader, he served on the board of his neighborhood association and with the Fort Worth League of Neighborhood Associations as director of government affairs. He raised funds for various charitable projects including neighborhood construction projects, KERA television, biomedical courses, seminars and workshops. Byron has been recognized for his extensive community service with numerous awards, and he was fluent in English, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese and French.