Evelyn E. Byrd

Evelyn E. ByrdMost obituaries are written as matter of fact, containing basic information. But Evelyn Eudora Byrd, born April 13, 1914, to Albert and Elsie Burress in San Francisco, was anything but basic. She was pure magic.

She could draw you in with a wink and a smile. It was something so simple that could make you feel as though she saw right into your soul and liked what was there.

If you wanted to hear stories about her younger years as a waitress making two bits an hour, or growing up during the Depression or living in the big city, she would tell you all about it.

If you wanted to hear stories about her children swearing about the milk man or repeating words they never should have heard their father say, well, she had plenty of those too.

If it’s stories about her grandchildren or her great-grandchildren, she could talk your ear off in the most animated, captivating way.

Stories about the love of her life, or playing the Vegas penny slots or how to make one of her favorite recipes — she had a plethora of those too.

There were adventure stories about the Good Sam Club and driving the RV to the beach, intense metal-detecting competitions or turning into the dancing queen on Fremont Street with first responders and hundreds of complete strangers joining the fun each year for her birthday.

You see, Granny wasn’t just a storyteller, she was a story maker. If you were lucky enough to know her, she made you a star in one of those stories. And if you were really lucky, she spent her life making you feel like you were worth a million bucks.

But you didn’t even have to know her to love her. You could feel her magnetism over the phone, in a video or across a social media post. It was the shimmy of her shoulders when she wanted to dance, the way she grabbed your face for a kiss or pinched your butt if you got close enough — these “grannyisms” drew complete strangers to her. The way she tightly held your hand when talking, how her eyes lit up when you offered her a White Russian and any mention of an impending Vegas trip made her completely giddy.

Kind, gentle, wild, captivating, dignified, forever “hot to trot.” That’s her story. And her family is her legacy. She brought life to everything she touched for 103 years and 9 months. She peacefully gained her angel wings on Jan. 2, 2018.

She is survived by her son John G. Turner; sister Leticia Corbridge; seven grandchildren, Terry Thorpe, Theresa Blue, Paula Neaman, Kathleen Frey, Jason Crista, John Marvin Turner and Patrick Turner; 10 great-grandchildren Nicolle Kielman, Noelle Cristea, Jessica Neaman, Amanda Frey, Morgan Crista, Jaiyden Turner, Tim Beene, Victoria Turner, John Turner and Shelby Turner; three great-great-grandchildren, Maysen, Harper and Adora, and countless family and friends who consider her their granny too. She is preceded in death by her husband Everett Byrd, sister Darlene Patton, daughter Joan Shaner and great-grandson Christopher Neaman.

For those who wish to attend, a viewing is available at the H.K. Holland Memorial Chapel on Friday, Jan. 12, from 5-7 p.m. A celebration of her life will be held Saturday, Jan. 13, at 2 p.m. at Crossroads Community Church. Graveside services will be held at Desert Memorial Park, immediately followed by a reception at 1133 S. Farragut St.

With a bushel and a peck and a hug around the neck, we’ll love you forever, our little Byrd. — Submitted by the loved ones of Evelyn Byrd

Story First Published: 2018-01-12