Nancy Miller Overstreet Byerle, 85, died Aug. 1, 2014, in the Virginia Baptist Hospital. The widow of Michael Paul (Jimmy) Byerle III and the daughter of Frances Elizabeth Arrington and William Miller Overstreet, Nancy was born on June 10, 1929, and lived her entire life in Bedford, where she worked and volunteered for the good of the community, town, and county she loved. After graduating from Randolph-Macon Womanâ€™s College as a chemistry major and member of the Gamma Phi Beta sorority, Nancy became a teacher at Montvale High School, where she also coached the girlsâ€™ basketball team; subsequently, she taught at Bedford Elementary for many years. Highly regarded and respected by the many Bedford County students she had taught, she was known throughout the county for the interest she continued to take in all of her former students. A member of Main Street Methodist Church, Nancy also taught Sunday School for many years and later became the educational director of the Sunday School program. Nancy was a preservationist. She believed in supporting Bedford County farms and open space and, therefore, protected her own land with a conservation easement. A life-long interest in Bedford history and the preservation of historic buildings led her to become a charter member and board member of the Bedford Historical Society. At Thomas Jeffersonâ€™s Poplar Forest, Nancy is remembered as one of the original docents; she herself remembered giving the very first tour when a group appeared, wanting a tour, before the tours officially had begun. Friends also recall her recognition for twenty-five â€"plus years of service as a Poplar Forest volunteer. Nancyâ€™s interests in gardening and flower arranging led her to become an active member of the Garden Club of Bedford. Taking care of the wildflower garden behind the Wharton House was a project of this club, and for a number of years Nancy tended this Wharton Garden all by herself. Nancy loved animals: her cats (Kelso and Chloe), her dog (Honey), the birds she fed every morning, even the deer. She will be missed by her many cousins and friends, for whom she exhibited wit, wisdom, knowledge, determination, and caring enough to do what was right. Memorial gifts may be made to Thomas Jeffersonâ€™s Poplar Forest (PO Box 419, Forest, VA 24551), the Bedford Humane Society (829 Ole Turnpike Dr. Bedford, VA 24523), or Main Street Methodist Church (212 East Main Street Bedford, VA 24523). Graveside service was at 1 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 4, 2014, at Longwood Cemetery with Pastor Paul Greer officiating. Arrangements by Tharp Funeral Home & Crematory, Bedford, 540-586-3443. To send condolences, please visit www.tharpfuneralhome.com.
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Tharp Funeral Home & Crematory
320 North Bridge Street
Bedford, VA 24523-1928
Published in Bedford Bulletin from Aug. 6 to Aug. 7, 2014