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CHARLOTTE - Virginia Isobel Pharr Byrd, age 94, formerly of Sanford, N.C., died Saturday, March 16, 2013 with her children at her side in Charlotte, N.C. "Ginny" was born April 13, 1918 in Cabarrus County as one of five children to Jones Yorke Pharr and Lila Grier Pharr, both deceased. She graduated from Converse College with double majors in English and Economics, as World War II was brewing. Ginny also graduated from Pan American Business School in Richmond, Virginia where she met the love of her life, Dr. Worth Miller Byrd, on a blind date while he was a dental student at the Medical College of Virginia.
Ginny is survived by her three children, Jones Pharr Byrd, Sr. and wife, Sandra, of Asheville, N.C., Dr. Samuel Miller Byrd and wife, Ashley, of Winston-Salem, N.C., and Sarah Elizabeth Byrd Turner and husband, Tim, of Charlotte, N.C. She is also survived by eight grandchildren, Jones Pharr Byrd Jr. and wife, Whitney, of Winston-Salem, N.C., Julia Isobel Byrd and husband, Joseph Dukes, of Charleston, S.C., Elizabeth Bright Byrd of Atlanta, Ga., William Worth Miller Byrd of Denver, Co., Virginia Turner Taborda and husband, Nuno, of Montreal, Canada, Rachel Turner Rengers and husband, Francis, of Wheat Ridge, Co., Dr. Frances Byrd Turner of Alexandria, Va., and Lila Turner Duke and husband, Joseph, of Savannah, Ga.
When Worth joined the Navy after graduation from dental school, Ginny and Worth were married in a small ceremony with her parents and beloved brother Jones in attendance in Philadelphia in May 1942. They moved with the Navy to California, where they were parted by the war for four years. Ginny returned to North Carolina to work for Mill Power Supply Co. in Charlotte while living with her parents in Concord, N.C., and Worth served as a naval officer with the 3rd Marines in the South Pacific. After the war, they settled in Sanford, N.C. where Worth opened his dental practice and their three children were born and raised.
In Sanford, Ginny was active in the First Presbyterian Church, its Women's circles, and was a Lifetime Member of the Presbyterian Women. She enjoyed membership in Suzanne Reeves book club, a needlepoint guild, Pine Needles Garden Club, and the local hospital auxiliary where she organized a group to make "stockings" for newborns leaving the hospital nursery in December. She was presented at the first Terpsichorean Ball in Raleigh, N.C., was a charter member of the Sanford Cotillion Club, and was a founding member of a local investment club, continuing with others an interest instilled by her father at an early age.
Most of all, the "General", as she was affectionately called by her husband and children, "orchestrated" ensuring that her children remained close and that all of her grandchildren became and remained as close as brothers and sisters - a blessing all enjoy and cherish today. She was more than generous to all.
She was preceded in death by her parents, husband Worth, her sister, Lila Grier Pharr Brown; and her brothers, Jones Y. Pharr Jr., Erskine (Turk) Pharr, and John Pharr.
A memorial service for Ginny is planned for April 13 at 2 PM at First Presbyterian Church in Sanford, N.C. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to First Presbyterian Church, 203 Hawkins Avenue, Sanford, N.C. 27330.Arrangements are in the care of Hankins & Whittington Funeral Service; please share condolences online at www.hankinswhittington.com.
Published in the Asheville Citizen-Times from Mar. 24 to Apr. 12, 2013