“For I am now ready to be offered and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight. I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.” II Timothy 4:6-7
We give thanks to Almighty God for the life of Gracie Elizabeth Johnson Byrd, whom we were so proud to call a loving wife, a caring mother, a doting grandmother, an extraordinary daughter, an awesome sister, an irreplaceable aunt and a loving friend. Her beauty both internal and external will be forever etched in our minds, along with her beautiful smile that drew everyone to her. Gracie was the youngest daughter of seven girls born to James L. and the late Naomi E. Johnson of Montross, VA on August 15, 1962.
Gracie married her high school sweetheart and the love of her life, George W. Byrd, Sr. They had the most amazing relationship; they were blessed with 37 years of marriage and would have undoubtedly lasted another 37+ years. They were also blessed with two children, George W. Byrd, Jr. and Clorissa R. Mitchell.
Gracie was born to be a wife, a mother and a grandmother. She was proud of her family, but the apples of her eyes were her grandchildren. While holding down a full-time job, she cooked full course meals for her family, participated in her children and grandchildren’s school/after school activities as well as other duties she felt important to assist her family to realize excellence.
Gracie graduated from Washington & Lee High School in 1980 and went on to receive a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting & Finance from Virginia State University in 1984. She worked at Philip Morris USA/Altria her entire working career, retiring in 2016 as an accountant with over 33 years of service.
Gracie guided her family down a righteous path not only showing them the way but living it as well. If they needed to learn to be loving, kind, patient, and know the right thing to do, they only had to see their mother as she lived her life. From a child, she confessed Christ and joined the Shiloh Baptist Church. She later moved her membership to the Little Zion Baptist Church to worship with her husband. Gracie loved the Lord and was involved in many church activities such as serving in the Deaconess Ministry, Women’s Ministry, singing in the church choirs with her melodious voice singing and leading songs such as “It’s Good To Know Jesus” and “I’m Still Holding On”. Without a doubt, she was taken too soon and it devastated and shocked everyone.
However, we humbly submit to the will of a loving God who knows what is best for all of us. Today we celebrate her life, her resolve throughout illnesses, and her victory in death. At the young age of 16, she was diagnosed with Lupus that resulted in her receiving a kidney transplant. Gracie did not live her life in a pessimistic manner or linger in pity parties nor would she accept it from those who surrounded her. But rather she overcame the obstacles that Lupus brought about and she conquered her brief battle with COVID with a victorious and triumph entrance into eternal peace with the Lord. She did it all with grace and dignity! Her legacy will live on in the hearts and minds of all that loved her and everyone that she interacted with including those she reached but never had an opportunity to meet.
She leaves to cherish precious memories her husband, George; son, George Jr. “PJ”; daughter, Clorissa (Robbie, Sr); grandchildren, Riley, Eden, Robbie Jr, and George Charles; her father, Pastor Emeritus James L. Johnson; sisters, Yvonne Thurston (Lonnie), Patricia Johnson, Gloria Jones, Edith Gray (Lewis), Thelma Gillison (Robert), and Irene Saunders (Larry); her father and mother in-law, Deacon Thomas and Deaconess Rosa Marie Byrd; sisters-in-law, Brenda Baker and Grace White (Don); brothers-in-law, Thomas Byrd (Patricia) and Lewis Byrd (Sylvia); and a host of nieces, nephews, great nieces and nephews, aunts, uncles; many cousins and friends. Additionally, she leaves some extended sisters she loved dearly, Monica Brown, Lynette (Miss T) Valentine, Betty Wood, Janet Ball and Christina Byrd. “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes, there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain, for the former things are passed away.” Revelation 21:4
Home Going Services for Deaconess Gracie E. Johnson Byrd will be held on Friday, September 3, 2021 at 12 Noon in the sanctuary of the Little Zion Baptist Church, 7748 Leedstown Road, Oak Grove, Virginia.
Interment will follow in the Little Zion Baptist Church Cemetery
Deaconess Gracie Byrd may be viewed from 10AM until service time on Friday, September 3, 2021 in the sanctuary of the Little Zion Baptist Church.
"In compliance with state mandated guidelines to slow the spread of Covid-19, Mandatory mask and temperatures will be required'.
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