Christine Gay Byrum of Raleigh passed away peacefully at her home on Thursday, December 25, 2014, after a period of declining health. Born September 10, 1928, in Franklin County, she was the last surviving child of the late Williford Snow Gay and Clellie Privette Gay.
Growing up on the family farm in Zebulon, NC, not only provided Christine with many colorful stories to entertain her own children, but instilled in her a strong work ethic which served her well throughout her life. Whether managing her household to impeccable standards, raising her children with ceaseless devotion, or maintaining her independence to the very last, her strength, energy and perseverance were remarkable. After graduating from Bunn High School in 1945, Christine earned her degree at Harbarger’s Business College in Raleigh where she also met, Edgar Curtis Byrum, Sr. (now deceased), who she married in 1950. They settled in Raleigh where Christine worked for CP&L until she became a devoted, full-time mother in 1959 to daughter, Tonnya, and son, Ed, who was born four years later. Once her children were grown, she returned to work at the ASCS Office and then worked for the General Assembly before retiring in the early 1990’s. Still not one to be idle, Christine developed a love of reading only after a broken hip forced her to slow down and heal. Thereafter, she balanced her time working to keep her home and yard inviting, with doting on her adored grandsons Jake and Tyler, spending time with family and friends, and shopping for the next good book. In later years, as illness further limited her activities, she bravely maintained her will and her quest for continued independence. Once asked what she would most want to be remembered for, Christine replied without hesitation, “I would like to be remembered as a good mother.” That she was - an exceptional mother whose last thoughts were of her children. And she was so much more. She was spirited; she was funny; she was a great listener and a good friend to many. She was compassionate; she was giving; she was a wonderful lady. She is loved dearly and will be deeply missed.
Christine is survived by daughter, Tonnya Byrum Harrison, son, Ed Byrum, Jr., and wife, Cheri; grandsons Jake Harrison, Tyler Byrum; and numerous nieces and nephews. In addition to her husband and her parents, Christine was predeceased by sisters: Ellie Bell Gay, Thelma Gay; and brothers: Presley Jackson Gay, Jarvis Wilson Gay, Hillard Jasper Gay, Sr.
A visitation will be held on Friday, January 2, 2015, at 12:00 noon followed by a funeral service at 1:00 pm, both at Renaissance Funeral Home, 7615 Six Forks Road, Raleigh, NC 27615. Graveside committal will follow at 3:00 p.m. at Raleigh Memorial Park, 7501 Glenwood Ave., Raleigh, NC 27612. Condolences: rfhr.com
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