Mary Louise Byrd went to be with God on Psalm Sunday April 10th, 2022, at 2:35pm surrounded by her children and close family. She was 79 (a month shy of her 80th Birthday).
Born May 9th, 1942, in New Jersey to Harvey Slater and Mary Louise Woodall, Mary was the youngest of triplet girls (middle having died due to complications during childbirth). The Family moved down to South Miami, Florida where Mary, Margaret (the identical twin) and older brother Paul were brought up.
She was a graduate of Notre Dame High School (Sisters of the Sacred Heart) and then continued her education with a vocational degree in Cosmetology. Mary was continually broadening her talents learning the latest trends and was even known to have assisted in creating Lucille Ball’s signature red hair color formula. It also inspired her to try the hair color herself for many years.
After gathering a devoted clientele Mary branched out as an entrepreneur having her own hair salon in Florida and many years later in North Carolina. The majority of her client became dear friends.
When her sister made the move with her family to the beautiful Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina it started years of vacation visits and ski trips to escape the Florida heat. Having such fond memories and love of the beautiful countryside it was natural for Mary to eventually make the move in the mid-1980s and become a North Carolina resident. It was here that she met her second husband Bob Byrd of 25 years of marriage (later widowed) and enjoyed many of the same interest and love of nature.
Mary loved the country and continued her passion for gardening, taking care of her trout ponds, birds, woodland animals and her beloved cats. She was an avid tennis player, loved to sew, and constantly pursued her inner creativity on many levels. Mary’s devote faith in Christ, love of her family and helping others in need followed her path throughout life.
Additional survivors include her Daughter Theresa Opitz, Son-in-Law Stefan Opitz, Granddaughter Lauren Opitz (South Carolina) and her Son John Preece (New York).
A Celebration of Life will take place Friday May 6th, 2022, at St. Philip Neri Catholic Church (Fort Mill, South Carolina). Rosary and Visitation will be in the Chapel at 10:30am followed by High Mass in the Main Church starting at 11:30am presided by Reverend Father Fabio.
Interment will follow at 1:30pm (same day) at the beautiful Heritage Forest Lawn East Memorial Park Cemetery (Weddington, North Carolina) in Saint Matthew's Garden.
In lieu of flowers of the Family asks to donate to one of Mary’s favorite charities below:
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