Byrds flock together for 75th, last time

Published 12:00 am Monday, October 21, 2002

The descendants of William Henry and Texanna Wright Byrd their 75th and final reunion on Sunday, Sept. 22, 2002, in the Cypress Community House.

The families of the late J. Pressley Byrd – Janie Byrd Aston, Rachel Byrd Brinkley, J. &uot;Jack&uot; Pressley Byrd Jr., and Beverly Byrd, and the families of the late Katie Sue Byrd Harris – Roxanne Harris Shephard and Rochelle Harris Heron were hosts for the day.

Family members and friends were welcomed and registered on arrival by Kathy Aston Parker and Pam Byrd Conklin, great-granddaughter of the honored.

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The room and tables were decorated in a patriotic theme with a red, white and blue banner, &uot;Welcome to the 75th Byrd Reunion 1927- 2002.&uot; White mums with an American flag in each red, and blue pots graced the tables and were given as door prizes at the end of the day by Beverly Byrd, the numbers were significant of special dates over the past 75 years.

Jack Byrd presided and welcomed all families and guests. He called on the Rev. Forest Guthrie of Damascus Christian Church in Sunbury, N.C. to give the invocation and blessing.

The bountiful dinner with the old favorite family recipes over the years was enjoyed by all.

A memorial service was conducted by Betty Aston McCloud. This consisted of a poem and a selected scripture read in memory of each of the five deceased family members who have passed away since we met last year.

Candles representing each life were lit by Jessica Heaton: One direct descendant, Nathaniel Byrd Jr., and four who married into the family, Elmer Weich, Ryland Brinkley, Cookie Harris Bryan, and James Walker.

The Rev. Michael Halley of Suffolk Christian Church gave the memorial prayer.

A quartet composed of Robert, C.P., Fred, and Roger Brinkley sang &uot;He Touched Me,&uot; accompanied at the piano by the Rev. Cameron Currin, pastor of Eureka Baptist Church.

Roger Brinkley led the group as all stood and pledged allegiance to the flag. Rev. Currin sang a selection of patriotic songs with the group joining in singing, accompanied at the piano by C.P. Brinkley.

Jack recognized and called each of the eight families to stand and introduce their guests.

He also announced that only four of the family is living that was present at the first reunion 75 years ago, and also present today was Bessie Lee Byrd Hardin, Harrell Byrd, Janie Byrd Aston, and Rachel Byrd Brinkley.

The family history, prepared by Rachel Brinkley and read by Robert Brinkley, gave accounts of one wedding, one college graduate, two high school graduates, and one retirement from teaching school for 32 years, and many other interesting highlights. Rachel Byrd Brinkley was honored and given a plaque for her dedication and participation and being responsible for our meeting place.

A brief business meeting was held, conducted by Jack, that for various reasons a vote was taken, and a large majority voted not to continue to hold the William Henry and Texanna Byrd reunion after this year.

We ended this 75th reunion with our fond farewells and sang &uot;Blest Be the Tie that Binds.&uot;

Rev. Tom Holland, pastor of South Quay Baptist Church, gave the benediction.

Those present were: Robin, David, Landis, and Reid Huffman of Burlington, N.C.; Billy and Betty Bracey of Rocky Mount, N.C.; George Mann of Wanchese, N.C.; Bessie Lee Harden of Harrellsville, N.C.; Jack and Eloise Byrd of Gatesville, N.C.; the Rev. and Mrs. Forrest Guthrie, Callie and Mary Allen of Hertford, N.C.; the Rev. Cameron Currin of Corapeake, N.C.;

C.P. and Katherine Brinkley of Buena Vista; Roxanne Shephard of Mechanicsville; Lucille Byrd, Penny Byrd Foxworth, Carolyn and Brad Moore of Gloucester; Darrell, Dee Dee, Jessica, Justin, and Jenna Heaton of Seaford; Billy and Terry Byrd, and Stacy Brinkley of Richmond; Chaz, Rochella, Casey, and Carer Heron, the Rev. Tom Holland; Pam, Bob, Brandon, and Langdon Corbin of Virginia Beach; Harrell and Mary Edith Byrd of Portsmouth; Betty and Herman McCloud of Newport News; Linda B. Dilday, Gloria Worrell, Jill Brinkley of Franklin; Kelly Daughtrey, Teresa, Ray, Justin, and Korbin McCaskey of Walters.

Bob and Shirley Taylor, Billy and Barbara Byrd, Louise and Herman Bradshaw, Marsha Geary, Hazel White, Earl and Glenda Smith, Durwood and Kirby Smith, Beverly and Rose Byrd, Robert Brinkley, Jean Byrd, Fred, Janet and Mary Beth Brinkley, Ryan Johnson, Rachel Brinkley, Roger, Jo Anne and Nathan Brinkley, Karen and Chris McCullough, Terry and Beverly McGahee, Weeks and Kathy Parker, the Rev. and Mrs. Michael Halley, Jimmy and Tobie Byrd, David and Ellen Francies, Reuben and Doris Byrd, Cleo Byrd, Joannie Byrd, Janie Aston, and Brice Cline, all of Suffolk.