Mary T. Byrne, 89, of Bristol, beloved wife of the late Joseph Byrne, died on Wednesday, August 12, 2020 at The Pines of Bristol. Known to her friends as ‘May’, she was born in Dublin, Ireland on November 12, 1930; she and her two sisters were the daughters of James and Bridget Cross. As a young woman, she worked at the famed Eason’s Bookstore on O’Connell Street. Mary and Joseph were married in Dublin and then moved to England, where their first three children were born. The family emigrated to Connecticut in 1965; first to West Hartford, and then to Bristol as the family grew to five children.
Wherever May went, she lit up the room with her easy smile, her enthusiasm for life and her eagerness to chat. She was a homemaker for much of her life, always working for her family and always in touch with her community. Once the kids were old enough, May returned to work, doing part-time jobs she loved. She became a cherished member of every community she joined, bringing laughter and joy to the lives of those who knew her. Joe’s cancer left her a widow in her early 60s, and though shocked by the sudden loss, she carried on living a full life. She traveled often, and volunteered at the Red Cross. ‘Grandma May’ was a wonderful grandmother to seven kids, and continued playing a central role in a loving family. Throughout her life, she was a dear friend to so many people, many who have gone before her. She was a loving and devoted wife, and our dear sweet mother always and forever. She will be missed and loved by all who knew her.
Mary is survived by her sons: Stephen Byrne of Nevada, Brendan Byrne of Bristol, Paul Byrne of Stratford; her daughters: Audrey Fern and Laura Maraj both of Farmington; and grandchildren: Sean, Derek and Ali Fern, Jillian and Ryan Maraj, and Stella and Gemma Byrne. In addition to her husband, Mary was predeceased by her sisters: Philomena Cross and Molly Heffernan of Dublin.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated for family only at St. Joseph Church in Bristol. The Burial will be at 9:00AM on Friday, August 21; anyone who is comfortable is welcome at St. Joseph Cemetery, Bristol (North Side). There will be no calling hours. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in Mary’s name can be made to the Alzheimer’s Association Connecticut Chapter, 200 Executive Blvd S #4b, Southington, CT 06489 (www.alz.org/ct). Please visit May’s memorial website at https://www.FunkFuneralHome.com/tributes/Mary-Byrne.