Floyd Vernon Birdwell, 88, passed away peacefully at his home on November 4, 2019, surrounded by his family. Vernon was born on April 30, 1931, the son of George and Lottie Birdwell. Vernon was a faithful member of Bethel Congregational Methodist Church and loved his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He was a member of The Gideons International and spoke at churches and distributed Bibles to schools for over 30 years. He was an avid hunter when he was able to do so, and loved to watch the deer and birds feed in his yard. In his younger years he loved to fox hunt. He loved to run his dogs when dog hunting was popular, even when they would get off the deer’s trail and chase a few rabbits.
One of his greatest passions was singing Gospel music. He was a member of The Birdwell Brothers Quartet, and sang at many funerals throughout the years. The Quartet sang at the Worlds Fair in New Orleans in 1984, and they were inducted into NSU’s Hall of Master Folk Artists in 1990. He also played many musical instruments including the guitar, mandolin, and the harmonica. He was well known for playing the harmonica, and still played it up until recently. His musical talents were many, and will surely be missed by all.
Vernon was also a great storyteller. He would sit for hours and talk about the old days. One of the funniest ones he told was about the time his mama sent he and Herman to milk the cow in their Sunday best. Well you can probably guess what happened next. Instead of squirting the milk in the bucket, they squirted each other. He said, “Boy did mama tear us up when we got back to the house”.
Vernon also loved the game of basketball. He played for the University of Arkansas and hitchhiked to school and back, which is unheard of today. He eventually got home sick, and came back home to Marthaville. He then joined the Air Force and served our country for a few years. He then met and married the love of his life, Mary Louise Peacock in 1953.
Vernon was preceded in death by his wife of 64 years, Louise Birdwell; parents George Washington and Lottie James Birdwell; one sister Mertie; ten brothers, Dick, Preacher, Nuke, Hoyt, Raymond, Harvey, Odell, Herman, Wilmer and Harold Birdwell. He is survived by his four daughters, Judy Mitts, Marsha Nola and her husband Jim; Amy Vercher and her husband John; Rita Birdwell,and his friend and companion, his dog “Speedy”; two brothers-in-law, John Haire and Cliff Peacock; five sisters-in-law, Maxine Birdwell, Jimmie Holmes, Glenda Haire, Barbara Frisk and Wanda Rambin; six grandchildren, Crystal Mitts, Bambi Nola, Michael Mitts and his wife Amanda; Kyle Nola, JJ Vercher and Sister Vercher; Five great-grandchildren; Christopher Jones and his wife Lillyan, Hunter Cheney, Bethany Cheney, Charles Vernon Mitts and Victoria Mitts, who is due to be born in February. There was also a special little girl who called him Pa-Paw, and he called her his grand baby, Adalynn Roberts.
The family will receive friends from 5pm until 8pm on Thursday November 7, 2019 at Blanchard-St. Denis Funeral Home. Services will be held at 10 am on Friday, November 8, 2019, at Jennings Chapel Church in Marthaville with visitation from 9am until service time on Friday the 8th at Jennings Chapel Church. Interment will follow at the Bethany Cemetery.
Honored to serve as pallbearers are Michael Mitts, Kyle Nola, Chad Sims, Mark Birdwell, Leighton Kniffin, David Birdwell, Hunter Cheney, Carey Birdwell and Chris Birdwell. Honorary pallbearers are Ted Singletary, Rob Gaddis, Randy Hillard, John Haire, Christopher Jones, JJ Vercher and Charles Vernon Mitts.
The family would like to thank Dr. Barnum for his compassionate care for our daddy. Natchitoches Hospice for their wonderful care. We would also like to thank four ladies who have a special place in our hearts. Casey Gaddis, Jackie Parks, Devan Edmonds and Becky Birdwell, who faithfully sat with our daddy and treated him like family. For that we are truly grateful. May God bless and keep you.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the Gideons International, The Prayer Quilt Ministry and missionary donations be made thru Bethel Congregational Methodist Church.