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Sept. 28, 1932-June 4, 2010

MOUNT OLIVE -- Edith Byrd Kornegay, 77, a lifelong resident of Duplin County who was a member of Snow Hill Original Free Will Baptist Church in Glisson Township, passed peacefully at home surrounded by loved ones on the morning of Friday, June 4, 2010, after living a life full of great happiness serving her church, community and family.

Funeral services will be held today, June 6, at 3 p.m. at Snow Hill Original Free Will Baptist Church, located on the corner of Red Hill and Tram Road, with Pastor Mark Hobbs officiating. Interment will follow the service in the church cemetery. Visitation was held Saturday at Tyndall Funeral Home in Mount Olive.

Edith was smitten from the get-go with the young man who rode the white horse. She married that young man, Donnell E. Kornegay, on Sept. 14, 1952, at Pleasant View Presbyterian Church in Albertson. Edith is survived by her husband of 57 years; her son, Donnell Kornegay Jr. and his wife, Janice Head Kornegay; daughter, Kimberly Kornegay and her partner, Susan Clifton; son, Robert B. Kornegay and his wife, Penny James Kornegay; along with her five grandsons, John Mitchell, Elliott, Chandler, Chase and Cameron all of Glisson Township. She is also survived by her three sisters, Elizabeth Jackson of Kinston, Else Sears and husband, Earl, of Rocky Mount and Wanda Powell and husband, Doug, of Raleigh, along with her sister-in-law, Nelda K. Smith of Mount Olive.

She was born to James H. "Jim" and Janie Grady Byrd on Sept. 28, 1932, in their Duplin County farm house near Albertson. Reared by both her parents until nine years old, when her mother passed, and thereafter, Lydia Mewbern Byrd became her step-mother. Perhaps losing her own mother so young made her love her own children and grandchildren so passionately. She fostered the love of God and consideration for others in her three children who grew into successful, loving adults. She relished the activities of her five grandsons, attending nearly every ball game, track meet, school function. The grandchildren and their friends adored hanging out at her home. Many mornings she would need to watch her step so as not to trip over a sleeping boy. She was able to impart her wisdom and kindness to this extended family as well.

After graduating from B.F. Grady, James Sprunt CC and the Institute of Government at UNC Chapel Hill, she worked until her retirement from the Duplin County Tax Department where she was appointed both deputy tax collector and tax assessor. Edith was the third woman in North Carolina to be appointed to the position of county tax administrator. In addition she served as the district director of both the N.C. Association of Assessing Officers and the N.C. Tax Collectors Association. She held several certifications in addition to earning her real estate broker license.

Edith was invested in her community and held a wide range of positions throughout her life: secretary the Duplin County Hall of Fame; chairperson of the Duplin-Sampson Area Mental Health Board; Community Development Club; secretary of the Pleasant Grove Community Club; Duplin AgriBusiness Council; treasurer of the Warsaw-Kenansville Rotary Club; and chairperson of Duplin County Center for Leadership Development. She strove to better the community through political action by working as chairperson to Glisson Democratic precinct and secretary for Duplin County Democratic executive committee. At Snow Hill Free Will Baptist Church, Edith faithfully served as vacation Bible school director, Sunday school teacher, choir member, youth leader and Sunday school secretary/treasurer. Edith's many contributions to improve the lives of those in Duplin County were recognized in 1997 when she was awarded the Order of the Long Leaf Pine by Gov. Michael Easley.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Snow Hill Church, c/o Lou Ellen Carrell, 1475 Red Hill Road, Mount Olive, 28365.

A Tyndall service; www.tyndallfh.com.


Published in Obituaries on June 6, 2010 10:09 AM