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September 23, 2020

9/9/2020 3:55:00 PM
Mass of Christian Burial for Jim Byrne Sept. 12 at St. Bernard's

The Mass of Christian Burial for James "Jim" Byrne, 81, a longtime Stewartville business owner and farmer, will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 12, 2020 at St. Bernard's Catholic Church with Rev. Kevin Connolly officiating. Burial with military graveside honors by the Stewartville American Legion will follow at St. Bernard's Catholic Cemetery.
Mr. Byrne died on Monday, Sept. 7, 2020 from complications of an illness with Lewy Body Dementia, at Cottagewood Senior Communities, where he had been a resident since June of this year.
James Paul Byrne was born on Jan. 23, 1939 in Rochester, to John and Florence (Wilson) Byrne. Jim was raised in Stewartville, where he attended school, graduating from Stewartville High School in 1957. His passion for sports, especially basketball, began in high school when he joined the varsity team as a freshman. After graduation he enlisted into the U.S. Army Reserve and completed six months of basic training in Georgia and then served part time in the reserve as a military policeman for 10 years. Jim was also employed in the Stewartville community as a route driver with the Racine Creamery and the city of Stewartville as a police officer and patrolman. He started his construction career building homes with Richard Engle and Lyle Janssen Construction in the Stewartville area.
Jim was married on June 11, 1966 at Bethel Lutheran Church in Cupertino, Cal. to Sharon J. Ankeny. Following their marriage the couple lived in Stewartville before moving to rural Stewartville, where they built a house, raised their children, farmed and raised cattle. In 1976, Jim and his wife Sharon, started Jim Byrne Construction and also began plowing and removing snow for businesses, schools, churches and residential properties. Jim's sons have joined him in the family business as it has continued to grow in the southeast Minnesota area and Jim continued to work part time until last year. Sharon was the bookkeeper for the business and also worked as a nurse in Saint Paul, Santa Clara, Cal., Shamrock In-home Nursing and Saint Marys Hospital in Rochester and Olmsted Medical Center in Stewartville, until her retirement in 2001. Jim was a longtime member of St. Bernard's Catholic Church in Stewartville. He was a sports enthusiast and Stewartville Tiger fan. He shared his passion and knowledge with his children, grandchildren and many Stewartville students by coaching, mentoring, refereeing, and watching games year-round. Jim enjoyed league bowling, following the Twins and Vikes, playing cards and cribbage with Al and after taking dance lessons with Sharon could waltz and polka with the best of them. He loved time spent with family, especially his grandchildren.
The family would like to extend a special thank you to the numerous medical providers for their outstanding care of our dad: Dr. Andy Greenlund, Sara Jacobsen CNP, Dr. Nicholas Allen, in-home care provider Shirley Burt, the staff in the Haven at Cottagewood and Sara, Amanda, Breanne and Heidi at Seasons Hospice.
Jim is survived by his wife, Sharon; one daughter and three sons, Chris Byrne (Tammy Brogan) of rural Stewartville; Jeff (Dorie) of Rochester; Sheilah Byrne of Stewartville and Jason (Heather) of rural Stewartville; six grandchildren, Shane, Nathan and Peyton Byrne and Kayla, Audra and Justin "Jack" Byrne; one sister, Joan Eibner of Rosemount; three brothers, John (Marge) Byrne of Rochester, Bob (Marge) Byrne of Los Angeles, Cal., and Roger (Dee Ann) Byrne of Racine; stepmother, Alvina Byrne; mother-in-law, Beulah Ankeny; and nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, his aunt, Ellen Byrne and brother-in-law, Jerry Eibner.
A time of visitation for family and friends will take place from 4-8 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 11, 2020 at St. Bernard's Catholic Church and one hour prior to the service at the church on Saturday morning. Masks and safe social distancing protocols will be in place.
Arrangements are with Griffin-Gray Funeral Home in Stewartville. Condolences and memories of Jim are welcome at

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