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Mary Nell Byrd

Born: Sat., Sep. 12, 1931
Died: Mon., Mar. 25, 2019


Funeral Service


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Music by The Piano Brothers


On March 25 2019, Mary Nell (Hill) Byrd transitioned from this life into the next to join her husband and soulmate Reverend Charles W. Byrd and their daughter Mary Angela Byrd. She is survived by her brother William Hill, Abington, Virginia, by daughters Wanda Jean Corder (David) Oak Hill, West Virginia, Charla Deni Vigunas (Steve), Mountville, PA, son Charles Danny Byrd (Renee) Annville, PA, and daughter in law Carol Wood, Athens, Alabama. She is also survived by grandchildren Tanya Freiberg (Ron), Chloe Alderman, Katie Vigunas, Ashton and Dylan Byrd, great grandchildren Ethan, Bryson, Landon, and Jaxon Alderman and Teresa, Emma and Ada Freiberg, great great grandson Carter Alderman, as well as many loving nieces and nephews.

Mary Nell was born September 12, 1931 in Dalton, Pulaski County, VA She loved her hometown of Pulaski,VA, where she spent her childhood and eventually met and married her soulmate, Charles Byrd. They went on to lead a lifetime of service together, most notably both working in the early days of the Civil Rights Movement. Life led them also to Berea College, Berea, Kentucky where Charles was a pastor and student and Mary Nell was a pioneer for Planned Parenthood where she worked tirelessly to help women and children in the Appalachian Mountains. As a Methodist minister‘s wife, Mary Nell traveled all over the country and they eventually joined the North Carolina conference. They continued to help those in need and made lifelong friendships with many of their parishioners. Later, Mary Nell became a long term substitute teacher and was a favorite among the principals, other teachers, and students due to her intelligence, endearing nature, and sincere desire to make a difference with the students.

New job opportunities brought Mary Nell and her family to Hershey, PA where she was a resident since 1978. During that time period she worked for the PA Game Commission and she and Charles worked on their writing and editing careers. Mary Nell’s book “To Fly With the Angels” has been inspirational to many.

To many she was a living angel. People who met her for only few minutes loved her and strangers often approached her out of nowhere to share their problems and she always had a prayerful ear. Mary Nell put her family above all else, was loved, and will be missed.

At her request, there will be no service. Donations in her name would be appreciated to Hospice of Central PA and Planned Parenthood.

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Condolence Booklet

Marilyn Auman
   Posted Sat March 30, 2019
Mary Nell was a beautiful soul. I know her loved one here will miss her terribly but I know she is joyful in her heavenly reunion.

Geoffrey Sonnen
   Posted Sun March 31, 2019
Our hearts, our prayers for Mary Nell's family! We likewise grieve, but we truly celebrate her amazing life, her southern charm and the rare grace of her spirit!

Dear Meo, we will miss you terribly. The world is much less bright with your passing. It's just so odd how you'd left us on my birthday, especially being that you and Angela gave me my sole surprise party 15 years ago at your home. You'd come into my life at such an unsure time, and throughout the years you became more "family" to me than my own flesh and blood. Your kindness, your strength, your wisdom, and the stories you've shared with us are most cherished, sweet lady! You live on in our hearts, so there will be no forgetting you! We are forever grateful, Meo!

Jimmy R Littlefield
   Posted Sun March 31, 2019
Will truly miss one of earths Angels . Mary Nell is one of the most beautiful Lady's with so much grace and class. She will always be in my heart. She opened her home many times to beautiful gatherings of love and music. She made a impact on me with her kind words and loving heart.

Becky Jo Hopkins
   Posted Fri April 05, 2019
I was one who had the pleasure of meeting her for “minutes” and fell in love with her spirit and soul. She embodied the saying “though she may be small, she is mighty!” Her smile lit a room and melted hearts.
My prayers for all who grieve her passing. May the memories soften the pain of loss. I know I am better for having crossed paths with Mart Nell on our individual journeys. May eternal Peace be with her.

Margie Cullen
   Posted Fri April 19, 2019
There are no words to express the measure of loss felt by Mary Nell's passing. Always genteel and eager to offer hospitality, she was also deeply spiritual. Mary Nell emanated a true Light of good will and Love to all she encountered and welcomed to her hearth and home. Her absence leaves a hole in the world, and she will always be deeply missed.

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