Published 12:00 am Friday, January 1, 2010
Janie Byrd Aston, aged 90, was called to her heavenly home on Dec. 31, 2009, to be reunited with her beloved husband of 59 years, Beverly, and her only son, Ron.
She was born in Suffolk, Va., the daughter of the late J. Pressley Byrd and Janie Whitehead Byrd. Her mother lived for only two days after her birth, a victim of the flu epidemic that raged in early 1919. She was raised by her grandparents, the late William Henry and Texanna Byrd, and by her father and step-mother, the late Dollie Lamb Byrd.
She is survived by her three daughters, Betty A. McCloud and husband, Herman, of Newport News, Beverly A. McGahee and husband, Terry, Kathy A. Parker and husband, Weeks, all of Suffolk. She leaves behind nine grandchildren, Dee E. Heaton, of Seaford, Steve Easterday and wife, Amy, of Clifton, David Easterday, of Newport News, Lynn Aston, Alaina Aston, of Suffolk, Jenny M. Kaulback and husband, Brian, of Raleigh, N.C., Miki P. Skeen and husband, Jorma, of Memphis, Tenn., Michael McGahee, of Alexandria, and Ben Parker, of Suffolk. She is also survived by nine great-grandchildren, Jessica H. Jones and husband, Jon, Justin and Jenna Heaton, Stephen, Megan, Kaitlin, and Connor Easterday, Janie Kathryn Skeen (her namesake) and Dillon Kaulback. She was very proud of her family and each and every one of them loved her dearly.
She is also survived by one sister, Rachel B. Brinkley, of Suffolk, two brothers, Jack Byrd and wife, Eloise, of Gatesville, N.C., and Beverly Byrd and wife, Rose, of Suffolk, two sisters-in-law, Eunice A. Lindsay, of Chesapeake, and Dora Aston, of Suffolk, numerous cousins, nieces, nephews and many wonderful friends. Her daughters would like to thank everyone for their devoted attention to their mother, including the caring staff of Butler Hall at Nansemond-Pointe Convalescent Center.
Janie began her working career as a telephone operator and retired from C&P Telephone Company with 34 years of service. At one time, she knew most everyone’s telephone number in Suffolk! She was a life member of the Telephone Pioneers of America. She loved to read, organize family events, and prepare devotions for her Sunday School class and Ladies’ Circle. In everything she did, she showed strength, intelligence, optimism, and grace.
She was a member of Suffolk Christian Church since 1966 and before that, a member of Bethlehem Christian Church. She was a member, past president and teacher of the West Memorial Bible Class, a former circle leader, and a member of the Saints Alive Seniors’ group. She loved the Lord and she loved her church and her many friends there. She was a light to many and an inspiration to her family. She will be greatly missed by all.
A celebration of life service will be conducted Saturday, Jan. 2, 2010 at 11 a.m. at Suffolk Christian Church with the Rev. Michael D. Halley officiating. Burial will follow at Bethlehem Christian Church cemetery. The family received friends at Parr Funeral Home on Friday from 6 to 8 p.m. and at other times at the home of Terry and Beverly McGahee.
Donations can be made to Suffolk Christian Church’s Memorial Fund, 216 N. Main St., Suffolk, Va., or the church’s Saints Alive group. Parr Funeral Home & Crematory is serving the family. Condolences can be registered online at www.parrfuneralhome.com.