BYRNE, Helene

Posted: August 3rd, 2018


1917 – 2017

HÉLÈNE DORA BYRNE née Parfitt, beloved wife of the late Frank T. Byrne, of Lethbridge, passed away at the Chinook Regional Hospital on Friday, September 15th, 2017 at the age of 100 years.

Hélène will be lovingly remembered by her children: Moe Byrne, Robert Byrne, Maureen Byrne, Terry Byrne, Tish Byrne Casey, Jim Byrne, Danny Byrne and Paul Byrne.

Hélène was born on January 4, 1917 and was raised in Lethbridge, the second eldest daughter of Maurice and Mary Helene Parfitt (RIP). She was pre-deceased by her sisters, Kay (Tom) Wilkinson, Frankie (Frank) Webb, Alice (John) Thom, and Gerry Parfitt, by one grand-son, Christian Byrne, and by one grand-daughter, Thomasina Eagle Child. She is survived by one sister, Jock (Bucky) Carpenter, eight children, 20 grand-children and 16 great grand-children.

Before her marriage in 1943, Hélène taught for years in the country schools of Southern Alberta where she made many friends among the families of her students. During the years she raised her family, she continued to be interested in education and shared her gift of music with classes in local elementary schools, especially during the annual Kiwanis Music Festival.

Hélène’s Catholic faith inspired and guided her whole life, especially her devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the Holy Spirit. She was a member of the Legion of Mary for many decades, serving as the president of her local praesidium, visiting the elderly and the sick weekly in hospitals and care homes.

From the time she was young, Hélène had an indefatigable curiosity and a scientific mind, qualities which were reflected in her love for all the natural sciences. This curiosity and sense of enthrallment with the truth, order and beauty in nature remained with her to her very last days.

But Hélène’s greatest joy was people, especially her family, and she delighted in every new addition to the clan. She was also ready to welcome into her heart everyone she met, making no distinction among any, seeing all as children of God. Her desire was to serve the Lord and this she did faithfully through every activity of her life, even during her last years in Extendicare where, though handicapped by severe hearing loss, she took great joy in whatever connections she was able to make with fellow residents and staff.

“For to me, living is Christ and dying is gain.” Philippians 1:21

A Funeral Mass will be celebrated at OUR LADY OF THE ASSUMPTION CATHOLIC CHURCH, 2405 – 12 Avenue South, Lethbridge, AB, on Saturday, August 11, 2018 at 10:00 A.M. with Father Kevin Tumback celebrating.

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