"She was a woman of great faith and fortitude, and her marriage of nearly seven decades to Senator Byrd is a testament to the power of faith and family. ... We honor Mrs. Byrd's contributions to West Virginia, her love for her family, and her lasting legacy."
One of those legacies is the Jon Michael Moore Trauma Center at West Virginia University, which was named after a grandson who died in a car accident.
Mrs. Byrd visited WVU many times, according to a news release from the school.
"At this moment of sadness, we hope that it gives comfort to Mrs. Byrd's family and friends that the work of the Jon Michael Moore Trauma Center will go on - a living memorial that has allowed WVU to bring hundreds of other families hope and life," said Dr. Larry Roberts, the trauma center director, said in the release.
"She was a woman whose warmth and energy strengthened not only her own family, but thousands of people across the state of West Virginia," said Dr. Robert D'Alessandri, WVU vice president for health sciences and leader of the Robert C. Byrd health Sciences Center at WVU.
Marshall University President Stephen J. Kopp said he and his wife, "recognize with deep respect the extraordinary connection between the Mountain State's senior senator and his wife of more than 68 years. Her legacy and memory will live on with honor through Marshall University's Erma Byrd Scholars program."
A scholarship at West Virginia University and the Erma Byrd Gallery at the University of Charleston also are named after her.
West Virginia Society of Washington, D.C., chose her as "West Virginia Daughter of the Year" in 1990, and she was named "West Virginia's Mother of the Year" in 1999.
She was named the president of her 1991 class from the University of Hard Knocks at Alderson-Broaddus College.
Besides her husband, survivors include two daughters, five grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.Funeral arrangements will be announced today, Gavin said. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the trauma center.