Jones P. Byrd

jones byrd

January 27, 2020

Born in: Sanford, NC
Resided in: Asheville, NC

Jones Pharr Byrd passed away peacefully in his sleep on January 27, 2020.

Jones was raised in Sanford, North Carolina before attending college and law school at his beloved Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem. He met the love of his life, his wife Sandra, while she was attending Salem College there.

He began the practice of law in Raleigh working for the Attorney General’s office before moving to Asheville, where he spent the bulk of his professional life – first with Patla Straus Robinson & Moore and then for many years with the Van Winkle Law Firm. Jones devoted his professional life to helping those in need – people badly injured, people in jeopardy of losing property without just compensation, families of persons wrongfully deceased, people suffering at the hands of abuse, and countless others. His service through the law is that to which all fellow lawyers aspire. He was proud to be a lawyer, counting his successes in terms of the many lives he touched along the way, and those that touched his life.

Jones was a proud member of the North Carolina Advocates for Justice (formerly the North Carolina Academy of Trial Lawyers) and served as Legislative Chairperson and Chair of the Eminent Domain Section of that organization. He recently was awarded the Eminent Domain Section’s first Lifetime Achievement Award for his lifelong dedication to protecting clients’ rights through advocacy, understanding, and by allowing them to tell their story.

Jones was also a member of the Buncombe County Bar, American Association for Justice, American Bar Association, Harry C. Martin American Inns of Court, North Carolina Bar Association (for which he served as Litigation Section Council Member and Co-chairperson of the Legislative Committee), the North Carolina State Bar, and the United States Supreme Court Bar.

Jones was a longtime member of The Cathedral of All Souls, where he served as Junior and Senior Warden of the Vestry, and on the Endowment Committee. He was a former chair of the Buncombe County Board of Elections, and served on the Boards of many organizations, including Wake Forest University School of Law, the YMCA, and Pisgah Legal Services. Jones graduated ROTC from Wake Forest, and was a Second Lieutenant in the United States Army, where he served in the Reserves for 6 years in the Judge Advocate General’s Corps before his Honorable Discharge. He also belonged to the Blue Ridge Bicycle Club, was a graduate of Leadership Asheville, and was a member of the Rhododendron Brigade of Guards.

Jones loved the outdoors, spending countless hours fishing, hunting, hiking and bicycling – usually with a spirited crew of good friends. Throughout his life, he was rarely without his canine companions. He was a Demon Deacon fan through and through. He loved hard, laughed often, and fought for those in need. He was loved by many. We will miss him more than words can adequately express.

Jones was preceded in death by his parents, Virginia Pharr Byrd and Worth Miller Byrd, as well as his father-in-law Christ Michael Pappas. He is survived by his wife, Sandra Pappas Byrd; his daughter Julia Isobel Byrd and her husband Joe Dukes; his son Jones, Jr. and his wife Whitney; his granddaughters Anna and Macie Byrd; his mother-in-law Julia Zakinthinakis Pappas; his brother Sam Miller Byrd and his wife Ashley Byrd; his sister Sarah Byrd Turner and her husband Tim Turner; and many beloved nieces, nephews, and cousins.

A memorial service will be held at 1:00 pm Saturday, February 1st at The Cathedral of All Souls. The family will visit with friends following the service in Zabriskie Hall.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to The Cathedral of All Souls, Koinonia outreach, 9 Swan Street, Asheville, NC 28803 ( and Pisgah Legal Services, PO Box 2276, Asheville, NC 28802 (

Jones’ family would like to offer heartfelt gratitude to all of the friends and caregivers that have offered steadfast and loving care, grace, and support as we have walked this road together.


Memorial Service: February 1, 2020 1:00 pm

The Cathedral Of All Souls
9 Swan Street
Asheville, NC 28803



Cathedral of All Souls - Zabriskie Hall
9 Swan Street
Asheville, NC 28803


Funeral Home Assisting The Family:

Groce Funeral Home at Lake Julian
72 Long Shoals Road
Arden, NC 28704


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Memories Timeline


  1. We will miss such a unique man. As John Updike wrote, “Who will do it again? That’s it:no one; imitators and descendants aren’t the same.” Our love and peace to all the family.

  2. Working on an IT project one Saturday on the 4th floor at Van Winkle Law, I realized my then-toddler daughter had scampered down the hallway. I found her drawing pictures in Mr. Byrd’s office and they hit it off; he displayed her art for years. He was a smart fellow with a quick wit and we were lucky to have known him.

  3. Jones was both a professional and personnel friend whom I admired. We worked together on many projects from the 1970’s through this past year. He will be missed by all.

  4. Sandra and family: Praying for friends to comfort you, faith to uphold you, and loving memories to help you smile again.

  5. Dear Sandra and Family, My sincere sympathy and love to you and your family in the loss of your loved one, Jones. You are in my thoughts and prayers.
    Myra Ramsey

  6. Sandra and family,
    Please accept our sympathy and prayers in the loss of of Jones. He will be missed and remembered by many for his accomplishments and contributions to his community, and for his steadfast support of the Demon Deacons!
    Kathy and Jay Banks

  7. As sidewalk buddies in neighboring firms, Jones always brightened my day when we crossed paths. Professional and kind – – a true gentleman. Our thoughts are with the family.
    John and Sue Olesiuk

  8. I mourn the loss of a good personal friend and consummate professional. We shared many good times – in court and elsewhere. Jones was always a kind and good man with whoever he was with. I cherish many happy memories and wish Sandra and his family my heartfelt condolences. He lived a good life.

  9. I had several cases with Jones over the years, including a long trial in Cherokee County sometime ago. He was a tenacious litigator, well prepared & most importantly, a real gentleman & ethical attorney. We both started in AVL as young lawyers years ago & I considered him to be a good friend & I will miss him. Erv Ball.

  10. Sandra and Family,
    Such a loss for you, all of us and our community. Our hearts are with you.

  11. Jones always showed interest in the important areas of life when we talked. He wanted to know about family, health, and viewpoints rather than the more material parts of my life. He was a gentleman, excellent lawyer, and family man. Jones cared about his community and was very active in community and church functions and organizations. We grieve with his family, but thank God for sending such a great guy to us during his time with all of us. He will really be missed.

  12. One of the most decent, honest, honorable men I have ever know or worked with! I saw him as “a lawyer’s lawyer” His charm and humor will be greatly missed. Our world is a better place because of him. Prayers and Love to the family.

  13. He was one of my mentors when I joined Patla Straus Robinson & Moore. His guidance was invaluable, not the least of which was his insistence that I join the Y.
    His devotion to clients, dedication to the law, and community service makes one proud of the profession. Jones was the Quintessential Lawyer!
    To paraphrase 2 Timothy 4:7, Jones fought the good fight, finished the race, and kept the faith. May he now Rest In Peace.

  14. Jones was a friend and mentor from the time I came to town in 1986. He was an inspiration to me and many others, and will be sorely missed. The world is a better place because of him. Sending our thoughts and prayers to Sandra and family.

  15. I am saddened by his passing. He was a good man and special friend. He truly believed in and cared for his clients. His enthusiasm and dedication were infectious. During our time together at Van Winkle, our conversations often shifted from work to fun stories about our respective dogs. He was especially fond of my Springer Spaniel, Kensington, whom he renamed “Rufus!” We continued to keep in touch and share news about work, family, and, of course, our furry friends, after I left the firm and I will miss him. I know that his loss will be sorely felt by his family, especially Sandra, Jones and Julia, and my heartfelt sympathy goes out to them. But there is comfort in knowing that, “God so loved the world, that he gave his only-begotten Son, to the end that all that believe in him should not perish, but have eternal life.” John 3.16.

  16. Dear Sandra and family,
    So saddened to hear of the loss of Jones. Praying you are comforted by memories and held close in the comfort of God’s love as you grieve. Our deepest and most heartfelt sympathies.

    Laddie and Marlene Masters

  17. I am so sorry for your loss. Unfortunately I never had the good fortune to meet Mr. Byrd but I know he raised a wonderful caring daughter who I am proud to call my friend. My thoughts and prayers are with all of you today.

  18. Gone but not forgotten💔 I was a caregiver for Mr Byrd in his last few weeks and he and I clicked right away his strength and faith was outstanding I will truly miss him..


  19. Dear Sandra and Family, we just learned of Jones passing and we are utterly shocked and saddened. Our hearts go out to you. We are so sorry we could not be there in person to express our grief to you. You are in our thoughts and prayers. Love Mike & Sherry.

  20. Heartfelt sympathies to the whole Byrd family. Jones was such a fine human being, bright, witty and so kind.
    The world is diminished by his leaving.

  21. Sid and Rachel Eagles
    Raleigh ,NC
    We extend our sincere condolences on your loss and our loss by Jones’ passing. He was unpretentious but highly esteemed by everyone who knew him . His example will be a beacon for good lawyers and citizens who value quality and dependability . He will be missed for all the right reasons. Please accept our warmest condolences. . sse

  22. I just learned of Jones’ death from Bill Eutsler, a fellow fraternity brother at Wake Forest. I’m deeply saddened by this news and know many will miss Jones’ presence in their lives. A widower myself, I especially offer my warmest condolences to Sandra.

  23. So sad to think no more Mr. Byrd. He always had time to stop by my dad’s law firm and chit chat. He was so great at talking to kids. He would ask me questions and he actually cared! And he always had great tales to share and stories of Jones and Julia. So much joy and wisdom in one man. My dad took his passing really hard.

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