Obituary of Carole Marie Byard
Carole Marie Byard, “Suggie,” was born on July 22, 1941, in Atlantic City, New Jersey to the late William Alfred Byard and Viola London-Byard. Carole graduated from Atlantic City High School, class of 1959. After graduating from high school, Carole studied art at Fleisher Art Memorial in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania from 1961 to 1963. She then attended the New York Phoenix School of Design from 1964 to 1968. Carole also studied lithography with H. Morimoto and Robert Blackburn in New York City.
Carole was a prolific visual artist and photographer, who was often inspired by her observation and love of nature. Her ability to recognize the beauty and purity in every living thing was like none other.
During the course of her noteworthy career, Carole illustrated over a dozen children’s books, which include her Coretta Scott King Award winning illustrations for Africa Dream (1978), Cornrows (1980), Grandma’s Joy (1981) and Working Cotton (1993), which received both the Caldecott and the King Honor Award. In November 2001, Carole did a breathtaking one-woman show at the Atlantic City Art Center on the Boardwalk at New Jersey Ave. She was interviewed by a reporter from the Press of Atlantic City who asked her why illustrating children’s books was so important to her. She replied, “I always loved reading, but none of the people in the pictures looked like me. When I worked on my first book I thought about the books I read when I was young. I knew it was important to make the most beautiful book I could make. This isn’t something I’m doing only for black children. Kids of all nationalities and races should see the world is made up of all kinds of people.” Equally significant was her “Rent Series,” a vintage collection of artwork beginning in the 1980s, which was inspired by a collection of her late father’s rent receipts kept in memory of his lifelong efforts to provide housing for their family.
Carole was an extraordinary person of many talents. She treasured her gift and used her strong and independent spirit to soar beyond the expected. Carole loved her family and was notorious for her cooking and storytelling. Her positive and encouraging demeanor made her a friend to all. The life of the party, Carole enjoyed dancing and telling jokes. Carole will truly be missed but never forgotten.
Carole is pre-deceased by her parents and brother, Michael. She leaves to cherish her memory her nephews: Michael and Keith Byard of Atlantic City, NJ; Kwame Preloue of Cape May County; one niece, Michelle Montford of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; one adopted son Ayodele Nelson of New York, NY; one godson, Nasheet Waits of New York; aunts: Millicent Bent of Mays Landing, NJ and; two uncles: Joseph Longdon and Louis Farrell of Atlantic City and a host of cousins and friends.
Calling hours will be Saturday, January 21, 2017, from 10:00 AM until 11:30 AM at Saint Augustine's Episcopal Church, 1709 Arctic Avenue, Atlantic City, NJ, followed by a Celebration of Carole's life at 11:30AM. Her Mass of Christian Burial will begin at Noon, Saturday, January 21, 2017, Saint Augustine's Episcopal Church, 1709 Arctic Avenue, Atlantic City, NJ. The interment will be scheduled for a later time and date in Atlantic City Cemetery, Pleasantville.
Arrangements entrusted to Greenidge Funeral Homes, Atlantic City.