Ellen Byrd Burwell Rish

Ellen Byrd Rish (nee Burwell), 86, of Demopolis, AL died on July 6, 2024, surrounded by family at St. Martin’s in the Pines hospice care in Birmingham, AL. She was born in Demopolis on August 12, 1937, to Ellis Arnold Burwell and Mary Byrd Burwell.

Byrd grew up in Demopolis where she made life-long friends. She then pursued higher education at Birmingham-Southern College where she cultivated her love of literature and writing. After college, she became a staff writer at The Birmingham News where she became an expert at writing up weddings and social events. After marrying John Rish and returning to Demopolis, Byrd was a teacher at Demopolis Academy. She especially loved the Class of ‘75, her homeroom class throughout their high school years. Later Byrd was an editor at The Demopolis Times for many years. Some may remember her witty weekly column ‘Byrd’s Eye View’. After retirement, she and her husband John devoted many years to serving Trinity Episcopal Church and the Demopolis Food Pantry. Byrd adored travel and enjoyed planning and taking many wonderful European trips.

She is survived by her husband John F. Rish; son, John David Rish (Lisa); daughter Elizabeth Rish Evans (Bob); three grandchildren Hannah/Riley Fisher (Tim), Peter Rish (Aly), and John Evans; two step-grandchildren Lydia Evans, and Robert Evans, Jr (Leslie); and one great-granddaughter Ellie Jo Rish.

The memorial service will be on Saturday, July 20, 2024, at noon at Trinity Episcopal Church in Demopolis, presided over by the Reverand Evan Thayer. A reception will be held after the service in the Parish Hall, followed by the committal at the Trinity Columbarium.

Memorial contributions to the Demopolis Food Pantry or your charity of choice are welcome.


  1. Don, Green on July 10, 2024 at 11:08 pm


  2. Dan Hofstetter on July 16, 2024 at 6:52 pm

    I am so sorry to hear of the recent passing of my aunt Byrd. Her humor, wit and vitality will be greatly missed by all who were fortunate enough to know her. Dan (Ludy’s son) and Kim Hofstetter

Leave a Comment