Veronica Byrd Latimore goes home

ST. PETERSBURG – Veronica “Red” Byrd Latimore transitioned to her heavenly home Sept. 30. She passed away under the dedicated care of Florida Suncoast Hospice.

She was born December 22, 1954, to the loving parents of Deacon Huie Lee Byrd Senior (now age 95) and the late Jadie Lee Byrd, who were lifetime members of Friendship Missionary Baptist Church. She was raised and educated in St. Petersburg, and graduated from Gibbs High School in 1972.

Veronica was married for 26 years and later divorced Darryl Latimore. From that union two children, Natasha Latimore Lovett and Darryl Latimore II, were born.

Her favorite color was reflective of her nickname “Red,” and her favorite recording artists were Prince, Anita Baker and Barry White.

She built a career of 37 years with the former Florida Blood Services, now known as One Blood.  Veronica, known as “Vee” to her colleagues, was responsible for overseeing resource sharing in the Biologic Distribution Unit and was one of the first African-American females to acquire this level of responsibility until her illness, and subsequent untimely death.

A blood drive in her memory is being planned for the 18th Annual African American Health Forum held at the Historic Johnnie Ruth Clark Center Sat., Nov. 7.

She left behind a host of loving friends and relatives to cherish her memory, including her father Huie L. Byrd, Sr.; sisters Bettye Byrd Walker and husband Jim Walker, Trenia Byrd Cox, Loretta Byrd Davis and husband Charles Davis and her brother Huie Lee Byrd, Jr. and his wife Donnesse.

Funeral services will be held at 1:30 p.m., Sat., Oct. 10 at Friendship Missionary Baptist Church, 3300 31st St. S, St. Petersburg, where Senior Pastor John A. Evans will officiate the service. The repast will also be held at Friendship. Funeral services will be provided by Lawson Funeral Home & Cremation Services, Inc.

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