Mary Jean Byrd Szczepanski

Obituary of Mary Jean Byrd Szczepanski

Mrs. Mary Jean Byrd Szczepanski, a former resident of Ozark, passed away Wednesday, February 28, 2024, in Destin, Florida. She was 84 years old. Funeral services for Mrs. Szczepanski will be 2:00 P.M. Monday, March 4, 2024, from Bethel Methodist Church with Reverend Darin Easter officiating. Interment will follow in the church cemetery, Holman Funeral Home of Ozark directing. The family will receive friends Monday in the church from 1:00 P.M. until service time. Mary was born on March 21, 1939 in Ozark, Alabama to the late Grady and Mary Newton Byrd. Mary was a 1957 graduate of Carroll High School and worked as a Civil Service employee first at Eglin Air Force Base then with the Army Aviation Test Board at Ft. Rucker (Cairns Field) and finished her career with Army Research Laboratory. Mary retired in 2010 with over 40 years of service. Mary’s life was firmly centered on her family and Christian faith. She was a devoted wife, mother and grandmother who loved and cherished her family dearly. Mary and her husband, Dick, enjoyed traveling out west and to historical sites as well as hosting annual beach weeks for their family. She especially loved being “Nana” to her grandchildren. Mary was an accomplished cook, gardener, seamstress and homemaker. She was a member of Ozark, Alabama Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution. Music was also an important part of Mary’s life. Blessed with a beautiful soprano voice, she began singing in the Bethel Methodist Church choir at age 12 and sang in the First United Methodist Church of Ozark choir until the last few years of her life. Mary was predeceased by her husband of 56 years, Richard D. Szczepanski in 2024; her first husband, John H. “Jack” Veidt, Jr. in 1961; and her brother, Daniel Byrd. Mary is survived by children, Jacqueline Veidt Miller (Brian), Janet Szczepanski Denney and Stephen Szczepanski (Maggi) along with her grandchildren, Alexander Miller, ITS3 William Denney (US Navy), Lilly Perkins, Christopher Denney and Nicholas Denney. Mary is also survived by brother, Isaac Byrd (Joyce); sister-in-law, Lynda Byrd; nieces and nephew, Julie Bare, John Byrd (Catherine) and Sherry Drabik (Keith). In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Mary’s memory to the Bethel United Methodist Church Cemetery Fund, P.O. Box 1314, Ozark, Alabama 36361; or the general fund at the First United Methodist Church of Ozark, 167 East Broad Street, Ozark, Alabama 36360.