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December 21, 2018


Mary Frances Morris Byrd
January 01, 1923 - December 19, 2018

Mary Frances Byrd, loving mother and grandmother, and life-long resident of the Dexter Community in Walthall County, died December 19, 2018, age 95.  She was born in Newton, Mississippi in 1923, but moved to Dexter in 1924. 

She was a proud graduate of Mississippi University for Women in Columbus where she obtained her B.S. in Home Economics.  She was proud of this degree because her mother graduated from there as well along with several other family members. She became a teacher and taught at Dexter for 20 years and 9 years in Washington Parish, Louisiana.  Her teaching career enabled her to reach so many students who constantly came back over the years to tell her how much she meant to them.

Her greatest love was her church. She was a life-long member of the Crystal Springs Baptist Church in Walthall County.  She never hesitated to tell people she was so proud of her Christian heritage. She taught Sunday School, served on every church committee at one time or the other, chaired the Lottie Moon Program, and most importantly, was a Christian example for others follow.

Mrs. Byrd loved her family.  She thought they all hung the moon, and never hesitated to tell everyone how proud she was of them and what all they had accomplished. She was a special mother, and grandmother and will be greatly missed.   As a role model, she exemplified compassion for others, being kind to everyone, and proud of her heritage.  Those traits she hopefully passed on to her family. She was affectionately referred to as, “Nanny Byrd”, and that name was special to her and her grandchildren. She frequently offered sage advice to her family, and she justified it by saying, “well, they’re mine, too”. She loved her friends as well. They were very special to her, and as so many of them had passed away, she even had a strong bond with their children and grandchildren.

She is survived by her daughter, Becky Lee, son-in-law David Lee, grandchildren, Chris Lee and wife Beth Lee, Jennifer Lee Ward and husband Brian Ward, great grandchildren Caroline Ward, Rives Lee, Brady Ward, Jackson Lee, Anna Barnes, and Riley Barnes. Sisters, Mrs. Peggy Pigott of Tylertown and Ms. Julia Hite who lives in Charlotte, North Carolina. A sister-in-law, Mary Carter, and husband, Dr. Henry Carter of DeRidder, Louisiana.   Also, her constant companion and friend for 60 years, Viola Youngblood. A friend she counted on daily, and even argued like sisters.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Charles A. Byrd, who was formerly the ASCS manager in Walthall County and her parents, Mr. and Mrs. C. A. Morris.

Pallbearers are her two grandsons, Jackson Lee and Brady Ward, Joe Bob Harris, Bill Sartin, Craig Pigott, and David Reagan.

Honorary pallbearers are Frances’s Sunday school class and Danny Stevens

A funeral service is scheduled from 9:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m. on Saturday, December 22 with the funeral beginning at 11:00 a.m. at the Crystal Springs Baptist Church.  Brother Danny Stevens will officiate.  In lieu of flowers, a donation can be made to Crystal Springs Baptist Church.

We want to express gratitude to all the wonderful workers who touched Mrs. Byrd’s life at Billdora Senior Care and Compassus Hospice for all their constant care and compassion.

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