Mary Kathryn Williams Byrd

Published 11:42 pm Thursday, January 30, 2014


On Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014, our mother, Mary Kathryn Williams Byrd, went home.

A resident of Prairieville, she was born in Bogalusa on May 31, 1927, the first daughter of James Delos and Gertrude Robertson Williams.

She is survived by a son, David Melvin (Sherry) Byrd; two daughters, Cynthia Byrd Dean of Prairieville and Gertrude Byrd Guilott (Trudy and Darrell) of Bush; seven grandchildren, David Miller, Karah Owens Ratley, Jennifer Dean, Jamie Dean (Josh) Carley, Dustin (Ashlee) Byrd, Christopher Guilott and Cathryn Guilott; and four great grand-children.

Our mother treasured her role as big sister. Her encouraging presence and words provided guidance, comfort, acceptance and love. She is survived by her brother, Richard Delos (Dickie and Laverne) of Bogalusa; a sister, Lillian Stafford (Lillian and James) of Franklinton; and brother, John Stanley (Johnny and Maria) of Zapata, Texas.

Married to our father, Melvin Byrd, in 1945, she immediately claimed his family as her own. She is survived by Goldie (Lamar) Byrd of Baton Rouge; Winnie Ruth (Clifford) Byrd and Alton and Doris Byrd, all of Bogalusa; Laura (Marvin) Byrd of California; Sylvia (James) Byrd of McComb, Miss., and Billy and Joy Byrd of the Philippines. She leaves behind many close cousins and a host of nieces and nephews who called her “Aunt Mellie” or “Aunt Mary Kathryn.”

She was preceded in death by her husband of almost 61 years, Melvin Leroy Byrd; a daughter, Penny Byrd Owens; a granddaughter, Katherine Casey Dean; a great-granddaughter, Natalie Byrd; her parents, James Delos and Gertrude Robertson Williams; a brother, Francis Terrell Williams; a sister, Golda Joyce (Joyce and W.L.) Smith; two brothers, William Harold (Billy) and Benjamin Delos (Ben D.), who preceded her in death when they were very young.

Other close family members preceding her in death were Marvin Byrd, Lamar Byrd, Clifford Byrd, Margaret Ruth Byrd, James Byrd and a dear sweet nephew, Wally Smith.

Mom’s sense of humor and compassion encouraged those she helped and worked with at the driver’s license office in Bogalusa. She was a member of Jessamine Chapter # 82, Order of the Eastern Star, and a longtime member of First Baptist Church, where she took an active role until the decline of her health.

Our family wishes to extend special thanks to Mrs. Betty Mobley, Mrs. Betty Pekins, Mrs. Liz Michel, Feliciana Home Health and Hospice for their devoted love and compassionate care of Mrs. Mary. She loved you all.

Pallbearers for the service are Darrell Guilott, John Dean, Davey Miller, Christopher Guilott, Dustin Byrd and Josh Carley.

Visitation will be held Saturday, Feb. 1 at Poole-Ritchie Funeral Home beginning 9 a.m. and continuing until time for the funeral service at 11a.m. in the funeral home chapel. Interment will follow at Hillview Gardens.