Mary Evelyn Byrd (Jenkins), “Evelyn”, 95, died peacefully on January 18, 2024.
She was born on May 9, 1928 at Providence Hospital in Washington, D.C. to
George R. and Lydia Mae Jenkins. Raised as a farm girl on various farm properties
in rural Charles County she loved the outdoors and, as she often said “digging in
the dirt.” She had a strong sense of frugality and a work ethic that served her
throughout her life.
She went to Lackey High School in Indian Head where she caught the eye of
Johnny Byrd, a new kid who had moved up from Bluefield, WVA. Johnny was the
athletic class clown who spurned all the “in crowd” town girls for the shy beautiful
“bus riding” farm girl. She was the prettiest princess in the homecoming court
according to Johnny. They quickly became an item and remained one for almost
72 years, marrying on July 31, 1948. During those years, Evelyn trained as a
secretary and worked at the Census Bureau. Her typing and shorthand prowess
were the envy of the other office staff and she would often use shorthand around
the house requiring interpretation for the family. (Her children, Janet and John,
were very frustrated every Christmas as all gift lists were in shorthand.) She
became a stay-at-home Mom and homemaker. She went back to work for the
Prince George’s Community College then the Prince George’s County school
system as a secretary once both kids were in school fulltime.
She loved family, kids, her pets, gardening, spending time at Ocean City or any
beach for that matter, singing or humming while she worked, sewing (she was a
proficient seamstress and made or altered all manner of clothing, custom
upholstery and draperies well into her later years), watching baseball (she was an
avid Nats and Indian Head Indians fan) sweets, classic movies, reading the paper,
eating crabs, listening to music and spending time on her screened porch in the
She was loving, kind, gracious, generous, strong-willed, resilient, supportive,
protective, accepting, and patient (unless Johnny or the kids were misbehaving).
She was active in the St. John the Evangelist community throughout her time in
Clinton and made lifelong friends there. She maintained a deep faith in God her
whole life. Her Rosary was her constant source of comfort.
She is predeceased by her husband, both parents, and her brother George Robert
Jenkins, Jr “Bobby”.
She is survived by her two children, Janet (Tom) Sherlock and John (Melinda)
Byrd, grand children Jessica and Christian (Sarah) Sherlock, sister Lorraine Murphy
and numerous nieces and nephews.
In lieu of flowers or as a tribute to Evelyn, the family suggests donations can be
made to St. John the Evangelist Church, Clinton, MD, the Maryland Food Bank, or
Last Chance Animal Rescue.