A Funeral Mass was held on Saturday, September 27, 2008, at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Orlando for Birdsong’s daughter, Krystal. Birdsong and his family wish to thank all of the students, friends and colleagues who attended the service and/or sent flowers or other expressions of sympathy, including food for our family at our time of grief.
For those who were unable to attend the service, Birdsong has included herewith the Remembrance of Krystal, read by our priest at the service:
Krystal Shara Birdsong was born on September 25, 1982, in Washington, D.C.from the union of Leonard Birdsong and Senayte Bezabih. She began her schooling at Frau Erbe’s Kindergarten in Hamburg, Germany where her parents were stationed with the U.S. State Department. She then attended Hamburg’s International School. During her parents’ next assignment, she attended the St. Andrew School in Nassau, Bahamas. After her parents returned to the United States, Krystal graduated from the Chevy Chase Elementary School and in 2000, graduated from Watkins Mill High School in Montgomery County, Maryland.
Krystal briefly attended Montgomery College in Rockville, Maryland before receiving training as a veterinary technician. As a result of her love of animals, she worked in several veterinary clinics in Maryland. In 2003, she moved to Orlando to be closer to her brother and father. She immediately found work in veterinary clinics in the Orlando area while attending part time classes at Valencia Community College where she studied for one and a half years.
In January of 2005, Krystal transferred to Barry University. Barry University agreed with her academically and socially. Krystal made the dean’s list every semester while at the school. She graduated magna cum laude in May of 2008, with a degree in sociology.
In addition to her outstanding academic success, Krystal amassed an amazing record of community service at the university, local, and national levels. She was an active advocate for Barry’s mission of social justice. She was elected president of the campus organization Pax Christi and served on the South Florida Campus Action Network (CAN). She also wrote for the campus newspaper. At graduation she received the Barry President’s Award and the School of Arts & Sciences Dean’s Award.
Krystal was a wonderful child and compassionate person. She loved people and people loved her. We will all miss her bright smile, big eyes, her gentle manner and banana bread. We will also miss her passion and advocacy on behalf of such issues as human trafficking, animal rights, farm workers and other social justice causes.
Although she was only with us twenty five years, she has left a legacy we will not soon forget.