University Mourns Death of Two Employees

Posted: April 26, 2006 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

The university recently lost two valued employees, Genice Brown, customer service supervisor in the Physical Plant, and Janet Byrd, administrative and program specialist with the Center for Study of Public Choice in the Economics Department.

Genice Brown

Genice Brown died on Sunday, April 16, from cancer. She had worked at Mason for nearly 10 years.

Genice Brown
Genice Brown

Charlie Barksdale, assistant director, Systems and Energy Management, and Brown’s supervisor, says she will be missed. “She was a great person. She would do anything for anyone,” he says. “One of her favorite sayings she was known for was when things were going wrong – she’d look you in the eye and say, ‘You’ll be alright.'”

Brown joined Mason as a data entry employee in the Customer Service Center and worked her way up to supervisor. As an employee, Brown “was probably one of the best supervisors I had,” Barksdale says. “She took her job very seriously and was always looking for ways to improve.” Even after she was diagnosed with cancer about eight months ago, “she kept working up until the day she couldn’t any more,” says Barksdale.

Brown’s best friend and co-worker was Glenda Weston-McCray, administrative office specialist in the Physical Plant. Weston-McCray says of Brown, “She was a really loved kind of person. She was always happy and smiling.”

Brown is survived by her husband, John, three daughters and one grandson.

A funeral service will be held today at Holy Family Catholic Church at 11 a.m. The church is located at 14160 Ferndale Road, Dale City, VA 22193.

The Physical Plant plans to plant a cherry tree in her memory near Mason Pond.

Janet Byrd

Janet Byrd, long-time administrative anchor of the Center for Study of Public Choice, passed away after a brief illness. A 15-year veteran of the Public Choice Center, Byrd was essential to the work done there, say colleagues.

Janet Byrd
Janet Byrd

“She possessed a competence, a reliability and a dedication that many people are said to possess but few actually do. Janet truly did. Saying that she will be missed is a severe understatement,” says Donald Boudreaux, chair of Economics.

Byrd is survived by her son, Anthony Fulton; her daughter, Miesha Mason; two grandchildren, Antonio and Tayshaun; her mother, Amelia Williams of San Diego; and three sisters, Carolyn Fitzgerald and Rosalind Minifield of San Diego and Anita Williams of Phoenix.

A memorial service will be held in Carow Hall at 3 p.m. on Thursday, April 27. As space is limited, RSVP to either Lisa Hill-Corley, 703-993-2316 or Jo Ann Burgess, 703-993-2337.

In lieu of flowers, please contribute to a fund being collected in Byrd’s name. To contribute, contact Hill-Corley or Cathy Shifler.

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