It is with the saddest of heart we inform you of the death of the matriarch of our family, Sonia Lee Byrd, who was born on March 15, 1938, in Oneida, Tennessee. Sonia passed peacefully away at her home in St Leon, Indiana, surrounded by family and friends, on the evening of Sunday, September 8, 2019.
Sonia was the beloved wife of the late Donald Isom Byrd, loving mother of Karen (late Michael) Dunbar, Kurt (Sharon) Byrd and Kimberly (Mark) Bemmes. Sonia was the loving grandmother of Kayla (Eli) Mullins, Kelly Bemmes, Kristy Bemmes, and loving great grandmother to Amelia Mullins, and loving sister to Oda Marcum.
Sonia was a career employee of The Kroger Company where the demands of the job took their daily toll. Her immediate family members were either employed by The Kroger Company (daughter), or the Cincinnati Police Department (husband, brother, son, daughter, daughter-in law, and son-in-law). It does not take much imagination to wonder how bizarre the conversations became during our family gatherings.
That being said, in sharp contrast to what some may imagine, by all accounts, Sonia was an extremely soft hearted nonjudgmental person, with an open mind to any and all she met. On many occasions, Sonia was a second mother or sister to wayward friends during trying times in their lives. Every family member could tell endless stories of “remember when (insert name here) lived with us.” This was confirmed during these last few weeks of Sonia’s life when many visited or contacted her to say how big of a difference she made in their lives. Time and time again, we’ve heard, and still do hear, “she was like my second mother or sister.”
Her love of all things in this life were not just limited to humankind. She was an animal lover and adopted, fostered and rescued many of them over her lifetime.
In keeping with her wishes, there neither be a formal service of any kind, nor an obituary in the printed media. However, in also keeping with her wishes, she preferred we have a “celebration of life” held at her home and property, on a date soon to be announced.
Our mother was not big believer in receiving flowers on any occasion and always felt we and others were “wasting our money.” We as a family request, in lieu of sending flowers and if you feel the need, that you can make a donation to your favorite legitimate charity or animal rescue.
Additionally, if it’s not asking too much, and we are not being too forward, please hug your loved ones and let them know how you feel, as though each time is your last.