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Geneva Ellen Byrd Scruggs

Born on 6-11-1906. She was born in Winfall, VA. She was accomplished in the area of Community. She later died on 1-9-1981.
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Geneva Ellen Byrd Scruggs was born in Winfall, Virginia on June 11, 1906. She was the second of three daughters of William Lee Faulkner Byrd, a Baptist Minister and Wilhelmina Scott Byrd, a public school teacher. Her early years were spent in Winfall and Lynchburg, where she attended elementary and high school.

As a student of St. Paul's Normal and Industrial School (St. Paul's College) she prepared for a career in elementary education. While there, she was active in many campus activities. Among those were president, campus YWCA; member of the debate team; Inter-Collegiate Orators Guild; and Inter-Collegiate Conference on World Affairs. She graduated valedictorian of her class with a medal of honor for excellence in English.

After teaching fifth grade at Campbell County Training School (Rustburg, Virginia), she visited relatives in Niagara Falls in 1932. There she met and later married Leonard A. Scruggs, a local mortician. For six-and-a-half years they resided in Niagara Falls. Upon arriving in Buffalo, Mrs. Scruggs became involved in Republican politics. She served as an Inspector of Elections, District Committeewoman, and Vice-Chairman of the Fifth Ward. She also served as secretary of the New York State Republican Convention for two sessions; appeared on panels with Governor Thomas E. Dewey and Secretary Dulles. She was a candidate for Fifth Ward supervisor in 1955.

Mrs. Scruggs was a co-founder and first president of the School #75 PTA. She was awarded a gold pin for twenty-five years in scouting in 1965. For thirteen years, she served as Recreation Instructor at St. Mary's Parochial School and as Girls' Group Worker at Westminster Community House. She was the first director of the JFK Community Center. For seventeen years, she conducted a tax consultant service.

In 1950, Mrs. Scruggs was confirmed as a member of St. Philip's Episcopal Church. She had been continually active and served in many capacities as Church School Teacher, member of the Episcopal Church Women, and The Acolyte Mother's Guild (president, secretary and treasurer). In 1968, she was the first woman elected to the Vestry at St. Philip's, and served on the Board of St. Philip's Community Center. She served on the Budget and Finance Committees, as Church Fiscal Officer, member of the Stewardship Committee, and as member of the Christian Education Committee. At the Diocesan level, she served on the Committee for Restructuring the Diocese, Secretary of the Central Erie Deanery, Episcopal Charities Speakers Bureau, Consultant and Group Leader at the DeVeaux Conference, Member of the Standing Committee, and member of the Commission on Ministry and Society of the Companion of the Holy Cross, a nationwide organization following the Ministry of Intercession and Thanksgiving.

From 1967 until she retired in 1974, Mrs. Scruggs served as Director of St. Philip's Community Center. Among other boards on which she served are Council of Churches; St. Augustine's Community Center; United Way; 4-H of Erie County; Westminster Community House; Community Music School; Council to the Office for the Aging; National Conference of Christians and Jews; and Advisory Committee to the Board of Education.

Mrs. Scruggs was a founding member of Beta Phi Chapter, Iota Phi Lambda Sorority; Past Matron, Paramount Chapter #57, Order of Eastern Star (PHA); and Bison Assembly No. 48, Order of the Golden Circle.

Among her many citations are: Mother of the Year; Bishop's Cross; Woman of the Year; Brotherhood Award; Community Award; Citizens Award; Outstanding Church Woman; Community Service Award; Outstanding Achievement Award; Distinguished Service Award; and in 1979, she received the Evans-Young Award from the Buffalo Urban League.

Mrs. Scruggs is survived by four children: Yvonne Scruggs-Leftwich, Leonard A. Jr., Harriet S. Lewis, and Roslyn S. Foreman, and seven grandchildren.