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Obituary: Marge Byrd, 81

 

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Marge Byrd

Marge Byrd, 81, passed peacefully on July 24, 2016 surrounded by her children and grandchildren.

She was Tlingit, Yeil Kiks.adi. Her Tlingit names were Shaawat Shoo Ku and Teey Tix' Tlaa.

Born January 14, 1935, she was the youngest of eight children of James and Louise Bradley.

At age 20, she married the love of her life, Lee C. Byrd. Together they had five children.

We have lost a wonderful woman, not just her family or this community but everyone that made her acquaintance. Not only did they know her, but she knew them. Not only did she know their ancestry, she knew their children down to the newest baby.

Her mother, Louise, was a song leader, dancer and keeper of Tlingit tradition and protocol. She chose Marge to carry on that tradition, a job she took very seriously. Her most important and recognized role was the matriarch of the Kiks.adi Clan, and the dance group leader and lead drummer for the Shx'at' Kwaan dancers since the 70s. This would have been a large enough assignment, but Marge was also care-giver for several family members, teacher, historian, artist, visionary, parishioner, and Lifetime Member of Alaska Native Sisterhood Camp #1.

She is preceded in death by her husband of 39 years, Lee C. Byrd, her parents James and Louise Bradley; brothers, Herb, Henry, Harry and Allen; sisters, Amy and Rae; beloved niece whom she raised, Dawn Hutchinson-Stevens.

She is survived by her sister and partner in crime, Hankie Hoyt; her five children, Lee (Mayela), Katherine (James), Louise, Sandra and Ethel (Collin); grandchildren, John, Jessica (Devon), Amy, Larisa (Garret), Mackenzie (Brian), Crystal, Hannah, Casey, Tyler, Robyn and Zak; great-grandchildren, Adrianna, Blake, Torrin, Xander, Jakey, Allie, Synneva, Gage, Ellie and Jaxson; and many nieces, nephews, great-nieces, great-nephews and probably even some great-greats; also many more friends than we will ever know, from all over the world.

A Celebration of Life was held August 6, 2016 at the St. Philips Episcopal Church with a reception following at the SNO building.

 

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