Robert Warren Byrum

Published 11:08 am Saturday, October 17, 2020

Robert Warren Byrum, age 90, a resident of Washington, died Sunday, Oct. 11, 2020, at his home. A Celebration of Life Service will be held at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church at a future date.

Bob was born May 13, 1930, to Graham Murray Byrum and Novella Forehand Byrum in Edenton, where he grew up, the youngest of four boys. His cousin, William Forehand, was his close companion. Favorite times were spent on the farm in Colerain, sailing the Albemarle Sound and summers at Nags Head.

Bob graduated from N.C. State in 1952 with a BS in Textile Engineering. He was a Sigma Chi and ROTC. He entered the Army and spent time in Germany. It was in Bad Kreuznach that he met the love of his life, Nita Ruth Powers, where she was the Director of the Special Services Club for the U.S. Dept. of Army. Upon discharge from the Army, he worked for a textile company in El Salvador and Nicaragua. In 1957, he and Nita were married, and he entered UNC-Chapel Hill where he earned an MBA. He began his long career with E I Dupont in Kinston before making the corporate move to Wilmington, Delaware, and retiring out of their Charlotte office in 1995. While with Dupont, he traveled to Europe and the Middle East on special projects. A remarkable experience was the start-up of a plant in Isfahan, Iran, during the last Shah’s regime.

Bob and Nita retired to Washington in June of 1995 to be closer to family and Edenton. Instead of downsizing, they bought a grand old home that needed their love and work. They took great pride in having it placed on the National Registry of Historic Places. They enjoyed sharing their home on numerous home tours and hosting Christmas parties. Bob was known for his charming personality, wearing a bow tie, and generosity at cocktail hour. He volunteered with the Adult Literacy Program and Meals on Wheels. He was a member of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, the Down East Seniors Club and the Ramblers Supper Club.

He was preceded in death by his parents and his brothers; twins Muriel Graham Byrum and Murray Forehand Byrum, and Graham Murray Byrum, as well as a half-sister, Mary Alice Byrum.

Mr. Byrum is survived by his wife, Nita Ruth Powers Byrum, of the home; son, Robert Warren “Skip” Byrum, of New Bern; daughter, Robin St. John Byrum Skillen and husband Jim, of Washington; cherished granddaughter, Desi Adele Byrum, and grandson, James McPherson “Mac” Skillen Jr; and many nieces, nephews, great nieces and nephews and great-great-nieces and -nephews.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations may be made directly to the All Souls Fund at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, PO Box 985, Washington, North Carolina 27889.

The family would especially like to thank Dr. Richard Young and Dorothy Moore for their compassionate care and remember Jill Quattlebaum and Clare Lynn Brock for their love and support.

Condolences may be addressed to the family online by visiting

Paul Funeral Home & Crematory of Washington is honored to serve the Byrum family.