Mrs. Essie Rider Byrd
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SHREVEPORT, LA - Mrs. Essie Rider Byrd, born December 30,1918, went to be with the Lord on Thursday, December 17, 2009.
The funeral service for Essie Rider Byrd, 90, will be at 1:00 p.m. on Monday, December 21, 2009 at the Living Word Family Center, 9445 Mansfield Road Shreveport, LA. Interment will follow in Forest Park West Cemetery. Family visitation will be held from 5:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. on Sunday, December 20, 2009 at Rose-Neath Southside Funeral Home.
Mrs. Byrd was a very special lady. She was loved by all and to most she was known as "Sister Byrd".
She had many talents and unique qualities. She wore many hats in her lifetime. One of the many hats worn was as an inspirational speaker for the Lord. She also wore a hat as a teacher, where she taught numerous children throughout the South as she pastored with her late husband Reverend James Byrd.
Mrs. Byrd was an ordained minister with the United Pentecostal Church. She loved serving the Lord. She had her own radio program "Ray of Light and Hope" for many years through which she gave the listeners hope in God's word. She co-pastored at Baptist and Pentecostal churches alongside her late husband for over 57 years. Mrs. Byrd had been married to James Byrd for 62 years until his death.
Mrs. Essie Byrd graduated from the University of Mississippi in Oxford, Ms., where she was asked to wear yet another hat - to join the staff and teach the initial Head Start Program. Essie and her late husband were deans of the men and women at Tupelo Bible College.
Truly a great lady, Mrs. Byrd impacted so many lives and has touched so many lives with her kindness and God's word. She lived and believed that with God all things are possible. The Lord gave Mrs. Byrd yet another hat to wear as a prayer warrior. Everyone from near and far would call and ask her to pray for them or their loved ones. Her dedication to serve the Lord began at a very young age.
She never turned away from God. She never wavered. At one time in her life she wanted to become a nun but God had a different plan -she became a minister's wife as well as a minister herself. Believing and following God's word was Sister Byrd's desire. She has read her bible completely and diligently over 40 times. What an accomplishment and dedication to be so devoted to the Lord!
We can honor Mrs. Byrd by living our lives like hers. She was always kind and considerate, never said a harsh word to or about anyone, always had a smile and was truly dedicated to God. If we can learn anything from her life, it would be to put God first, family next and everything else will be provided. Mrs. Byrd loved God first and foremost and her family unconditionally.
Finally the favorite hat that she wore was her little red hat. She was always dressed to a "T" and had her red hat on wherever she went.
We have lost a great lady but God has gained a queen and she is now wearing a crown with many jewels. She will be truly missed by everyone.
Mrs. Byrd is preceded in death by her late husband Reverend James Byrd and her grandson Bill Jeff Gordon Jr.
She is survived by her daughter, Ann Gordon, son-in-law, Bill Gordon, and a son James Byrd Jr., all of Shreveport, La. She also is survived by three grandchildren, Angie Gordon Britt, Phillip and wife Mandy Gordon all from Shreveport, David Byrd, Austin, TX. She loved her great grandchildren Chloe Britt, of Dallas, TX. , Bo Britt, Trace and Preslee Gordon all of Shreveport, La. She is also survived by her sisters, Adia Nacquin and Carrie Fulton, along with many nieces and nephews, and her dear friends, Charline Casten, LaVerne Franks, and Marie Ward.
Pallbearers will be friends of the family.
We would like to give special thanks to Dorothy Sessums for being a great friend and helper for the past 20 plus years. We would also like to thank everyone for all their prayers, The Hospice Staff, Mary Jane, and sitter Jaunita for their support and care. Thanks to all the doctors and nurses at Willis Knighton South Hospital. We want to especially thank Sandra White for all of her love and care she provided as her private nurse along with many others. Rose-Neath Funeral Home
Southside Chapel 687-1256
Published in Shreveport Times from Dec. 20 to Dec. 21, 2009