Bessie Harden

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Bessie O. Harden
HARRELLSVILLE, N.C.—Bessie Leey Byrd Oliver O’Berry Harden died Nov. 8, 2008.
She was born in Nansemond County, July 26, 1913.
Mrs. Harden was the daughter of the late Nathanial Byrd and Elmyra Parker Byrd of Whaleyville.
Survivors include one daughter, Betty Oliver Bracy and husband Bill Bracy of Rocky Mount, N.C. and one granddaughter, M. Lee Bracy of Gordonsville; stepson, Dr. Walter S. O’Berry and wife Sarah of Jacksonville, N.C. and family; two stepdaughters-in-law, Dorothy Lynch O’Berry of Virginia Beach and Emily Byrum O’Berry Oliver of Sunbury, N.C., and their families; one sister-in-law, Daisy Ann Byrd of Franklin; her nephew, William Byrd and wife Terry of Richmond; and Gloria Byrd Worrell and Belinda Byrd of Franklin.
She was preceded in death by her husbands, John Edward Oliver in 1945, George Otis O’Berry in 1976 and Vernon Harden; her son, John Edward Oliver Jr.; and three brothers, Raymond, William Henry Byrd and Nathaniel Wright Byrd Jr.
She was a descendant of William H. Byrd, which dates back to Oct. 22, 1851. The family has held reunions once a year for more than 75 years.
She was a graduate of Whaleyville High School and worked in retail until she was married.
She was a dedicated Christian and served the Lord in many ways. She taught Sunday school at Liberty Spring Christian Church and Harrellsville Methodist Church.
She served her church in Harrellsville by providing music every week until 2002.
For her continued service, the church honored her with a plaque of gratitude. She was an active member of the Eastern Star, Chapter No. 99, and served as the first Worthy Matron along with her husband, George Otis O’Berry, as the first Worthy Patron.
She was also appointed as a representative of the state of Indiana as an ambassador for the Eastern Star.
A 50th anniversary dinner recognized her with a presentation of a pin for her 50 years of serving.
She served on the Town Council of Harrellsville and the Historical Society of Hertford County.
A funeral was held Tuesday in Garrett Funeral Home, Ahoskie, N.C. The Rev. Walter Johnson officiated.
Interment was at Liberty Spring Christian Church Cemetery.
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