Lois Elaine Byrd, 72, of Louisa passed away on June 2, 2021. Elaine was born on July 15, 1948 to her late parents, Thomas and Fayaline Mims. She is also preceded in death by her sister, Joan Britt; brother-in-law, Roger Byrd; and a loving niece, Cindy Byrd.
She leaves to cherish her memory a grieving, but devoted husband, Fred; a son, Matthew Byrd; two granddaughters, Margot Lenore and Audrey Valis, and their mother, Samantha; a sister, Sandra (Charles); one sister-in-law, Pat Byrd; two nieces, Kelly and Elaine; five nephews, Wayne, Carl, Bobby, Baxter and Mac; and many adoring family and friends. She will forever be in our thoughts.
Elaine’s personality was infectious. She could strike up a conversation with complete strangers who, after parting, would find themselves thinking they had known her for a lifetime. Her selfless nature turned every conversation away from her to the person with whom she was speaking. She never met a person she did not like and who, in return, did not like her.
After graduating from Thomas Edison High School in Springfield, she served in the Air Force for three years, then moved in with her mother in North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, where she worked for a local congressman. While there, she loved her strolls on the beach.
After becoming a wife and mother, she attended Wake Tech in Raleigh, North Carolina, graduating as a registered nurse. Most of her career was spent at Henrico Doctors Hospital in the Cardiac Care Unit. She received kind letters from patients as far away as England. After a 30-year career, she retired in 2011.
Elaine and her sisters, Joan and Sandra “Sissy,” were taught piano by their mother. Since childhood they each took turns playing for church services. Elaine’s last church calling was choir director at Byrd Chapel United Methodist Church in Kents Store, where she quickly fell in love with the people and they with her. For over three years, she looked forward to each service. On recent emergency room visits, twice in the week before Easter, she told doctors and nurses if she had to be admitted, she would need a furlough on Sunday to play for the Easter Service. She wasn’t kidding!!
For 12 years Elaine and her husband, Fred, would awaken at 5 a.m. each Sunday morning and make 150 sandwiches, with drinks, desserts and 150 more sandwiches provided by Ragland Memorial Baptist Church, Goochland, and Mt. Gilead Baptist Church, Tabscott. They were taken by Fred or their son, Matthew, to Richmond. They were passed out to the needy and homeless along with 300 scriptures which were prepared by Elaine.
Her hobbies were many, from arts and crafts to gardening. Quilting was her last love, having friends join her weekly as her health permitted. If a friend had a baby on the way, a quilted blanket was not far behind.
She was a proud member of the Osage Nation.
In the past 27 years, she battled kidney failure, six years of dialysis, cancer, two major open heart surgeries, hip surgery and a multitude of hospitalizations. She had a kidney transplant from a loving donor, Kim Robbins, who gave her 18 years enjoying family, friends and life.
A memorial service was held at noon on Sunday, June 6, 2021 at Byrd Chapel United Methodist Church in Kents Store. Arrangements were handled by Sheridan Funeral Home in Kents Store.
“I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the Lord, which made Heaven and Earth.” Psalm 121:1,2 KJV.