Come along and follow our journey of being what we think is Normal..... just a average family, following God's calling and a life blessed with Down Syndrome

Friday, July 17, 2009


Byrd and Melanie Billings

09/23/1942 - 07/09/2009

09/12/1965 - 07/09/2009

Bud and Melanie have been welcomed to heaven by their three angels, John, Nikki and Bailey. Bud and Melanie have left this world together. They were two people that shared more love than humanly possible. They loved each other, they loved their children, they loved their lives. They were the most giving people, they never met a stranger. They had a deep hope to make the world a better place, one person at a time. Bud's world revolved around Melanie, everything he did was for her and the children. He worked everyday of his life to give her and their children the best life possible. Melanie's world revolved around her children. All she ever wanted to be in life was a mommy. She had more patience than 20 people together. She wanted her children to have lives that were filled with fun, learning and love. She lived her life to serve her children. They both were very special people, but together they were indescribable. They have been taken from us too soon, but in their short time here on earth, they impacted so many lives.
Bud and Melanie are proceded in death by Kathleen Billings (Bud's mother), Byrd Billings (Bud's father) Elizabeth Engstrom (Melanie's mother).
They leave behind many heartbroken children, Ashley and Blue Markham, Melissa and Tom McClure, Mike, Justin, Kristyn, Adrianna, Jacob, Ricky, Matthew, Princess Tori Beth, Nicholas, Princess Katie, Ethan, daddy's heart, Princess Emma, and a new grandson who they did not get the chance to meet, Forest John McClure. Other family include, Ed and Sandy Brock (Melanie's father and stepmother) Ed and Shannon Brock (Melanie's brother and sister-in-law) Chris Brock (Melanie's brother), Rick and Julie Tittle (Melanie's sister and brother-in-law) and Angel and Allister Adkinson (Melanie's sister and brother- in-law). Also Judy and Bobby Sission ( Bud's sister and brother-in-law). Other special family includes April Spencer, Carla Ard (the twin sister) Robert, Morgan and Olivia Dazey, Cline and Lori Breland, Joey Breland, Brock Tittle, Grayson Westmoreland, Anna Brock, Judy Sisson, Jennifer Sission and Chris Sisson. There is a host of other cousins, relatives and very, very special friends. Everyone Bud and Melanie ever met was special to them in some way!!
A celebration of their lives and their love will be 11:00 AM Friday, July 17, 2009 at Liberty Church with a funeral procession to Pensacola Memorial Gardens immediately following the service. The family will receive friends Thursday, July 16, 2009 from 5pm-8pm at Liberty Church.
A special thank-you to the Escambia County Sheriff's Department and to the community for all the love and support. Our parents would be so full of joy to see the love and caring given to our family.
Mommy and Daddy, rest peacefully and give us the strength to make it through until the day we are reunited with you. Give our brothers and sister in heaven a BIG hug and kiss from all of us!!!
In lieu of flowers, a fund will be established at a later date in memory of Bud and Melanie for their nine children who lived with them. Fund information will be available at
Arrangements are by Pensacola Memorial Gardens and Funeral Home.

Melanie Byrd's brother, Dr. Ed Brock, also spoke at Fridays news conference. He called Byrd Billings, Bud, as did many of the Billings friends.

"Today is not the day to focus on the vicious crimes that have been inflicted on our family and upon this community. Today is a day to celebrate Bud and Melanie's lives. It's a day to remember their laughter, their selflessness, and their enduring spirit. Today is a day to challenge ourselves to embrace the differences among us and to find the kindness in our hearts. By example, Bud and Melanie taught us to overlook disability, to be colorblind, to be patient with others and to give of ourselves. Their lives centered around children, their family and each other. They loved deeply and unconditionally. They embraced the complexity of raising children with special needs and they were their advocates. They gave these children a joyous childhood and a much needed voice. Their lives were cut way too short, but their legacy will live on," said Brock.

Brock then quoted Albert Einstein "Our death is not an end if we can live on in our children."

1 nice people had this to say:

Jenny said...

Thank you for sharing. It would have been wonderful to have known Melanie.