FRENCH IMMIGRANT, EXPERT IRIS GROWER BERTHE SHYE DIES AT 84
Berthe Foucault Shye, 84, died Saturday, July 13, at Florida Hospital East in Orlando. A resident of Brevard County since 1975, Mrs. Shye was born in the Champagne region of France. At age 19, she moved to Huntington, W.Va. to be with her family. She learned to speak English and worked as a beautician and later as a cosmetologist. "They called her the little French woman because she was so petitie - 4 foot - 11 and never more than 120 pounds in her life", said her son, Andre' Jack Shye of Cocoa. "Her accent was very heavy, she became involved in community theater in Huntington because reciting lines helped her English. She also got involved for the creative aspect. She was very artistic and did a lot with her hands". Mrs. Shye married Carl L. Shye in 1941. The couple operated a variety store in Barboursville, W. Va. until 1957. He died in 1959. They had two children and enjoyed cultivating irises together. "We had over 2,000 varities of iris in our backyard", her son said. "She was active in cross-breeding and created many new varities. Charter buses would actually bring tours to visit our garden. She also loved roses." Mrs Shye came to Cocoa to be near her children and grandchildren. She became active in the Cocoa-Rockledge Garden Club and turned her talents to growing vivid flowers and citrus. She also enjoyed reading, vegetable gardening, sports, winemaking and creating needlework of traditional French scenes. She was a kind and compassionate person, her son said. Other survivors include her daughter, Jocelyne "Jill" Harrington of Orlando; three grandchildren and eight great grandchildren. No calling hours are scheduled. Memorial services and a celebration of her life will be at 7:30 p.m. today at Wylie-Baxley Funeral Home on Merritt Island. Burial will be in West Virginia.
Source - "Florida Today" - Cocoa July 15, 1996