AMELIA ISLAND – Mrs. Susan Lindberg Byrd, 85, of 76 Osprey Village Road, passed away peacefully of natural causes at her residence at The Retreat on the morning of January 8, 2017.
Susan was born December 24, 1931, in Winnetka, IL, to the late Leroy and Sally Lindberg. For 45 years, she was married to Ronald Edward Byrd, who passed away on January 20, 2002. Susan grew up in Winnetka and attended New Trier High School. Later she attended Pine Manor College in Boston and Northwestern University, where she was a member of Kappa Alpha Theta sorority. She is survived by her devoted, loving older sister, Nancy Bodeen, and her four loving children: sons Jonathan and his fiancée, Alyson Kennedy; Stephen; Stewart (“Chip”) and his wife, Patricia; and daughter, Jennifer.
After marrying in 1957, Sue and Ron moved to Nebraska for a few years and then to Boxborough, MA. They lived there for more than 25 years, raising their family on a small farm with cows, chickens, horses, goats, dogs, cats and ducks. In 1988 she and Ron moved to the Amelia Island Plantation, building their new home on Marsh Point Road.
Susan loved many things, but especially the outdoors and nature. She was as comfortable in the woods as she was in the city enjoying a night out. She instilled the love of nature in her children. She and her family enjoyed many Augusts at the Ausable Club in Keene Valley, NY, where she spent time hiking, mountain climbing, playing plenty of golf with her favorite pink ball and sleeping out under the stars on occasion. For a few years, she and her daughter, Jennifer, even brought their horses to Keene Valley. Susan, along with friends and family, often would visit the local dump at night to watch the black bears, as was the local custom. One night, as the story goes, Susan and a close friend, Virginia Freccia, were chased from the dump by one of those bears. Perhaps the bears were grumpy about their meal being disturbed. Knowing Susan, there must have been truth to the story.
Susan’s and Ron’s love of nature prompted them to help launch The Wild Center, a natural history museum based in Tupper Lake, NY, dedicated to understanding the natural landscape and wildlife of the Adirondacks. After Ron’s death, Susan also donated a room in the Byrd family name to the Baptist Medical Center Nassau, supported Micah’s Place Domestic Violence Center and the Boys and Girls Clubs of Nassau County.
While on Amelia Island, Susan enjoyed golf, being with her good friends and being outdoors. She relished her time with friends playing bridge and Mahjong. She traveled extensively with them and made many summer jaunts to North Carolina with her “ladies posse.” Never one to sit still, she swam with dolphins, skydived with Steve and Chip at the age of 68 and enjoyed skinny-dipping on many occasions! But indeed, in later years, her favorite things to do were to visit the St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park, the Jacksonville Zoo, the Nassau Humane Society Dog Park and to enjoy the rich culture and Native American jewelry in Santa Fe, New Mexico, while visiting Chip and Trish.
Susan was an adventurer, a free spirit, a loving and gentle soul, a mother, wife, sister, friend, mother-in-law and aunt. She always was ready with a laugh, a smile and a thank you – along with a fresh coat of Revlon “Persian Melon” lipstick and hot pink fingernails. She will be missed.
The family expresses its deep gratitude to Susan’s devoted, loving and loved caregivers, Alice Durbano and Lynne Murray. For nearly ten years, they were by her side, caring for her and loving her as they would their own mothers. Our heartfelt thanks to Alice and Lynne.
Funeral services will be held at 1:30 pm on Saturday, January 28, 2017 at the Amelia Plantation Chapel with the Reverend Ted Schroder, officiating.
A reception and time to visit and reminisce with her family will follow the service, on Saturday, at the Ocean Club.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Susan Byrd’s name to:
- Community Hospice of Northeast Florida, 4266 Sunbeam Road, Jacksonville, Florida 32257
- Micah’s Place Domestic Violence Center, P.O. Box 16287, Fernandina Beach, FL 32035
- Nassau Humane Society and Dog Park, 639 Airport Road, Fernandina Beach, FL 32034
- Boys & Girls Clubs of Nassau County, 942259 Old Nassauville Road, Fernandina Beach, FL, 32034.
Please share her Life Story and leave your memories and condolences at www.oxleyheard.com
OXLEY – HEARD FUNERAL DIRECTORS, Amelia Island, Florida