Susie Byrne Memorial Fund
Ciste Chuimhneacháin Susie Uí Bhroin
Roberta “Susie” Byrne, a longtime resident of Missoula and Clinton, departed this life on Good Friday, 2018. Born Roberta Rae Riley on February 27, 1938 in Butte, her father, “Red,” and mother, Agnes, owned and operated the Club Bar on Broadway and the Royal Motel on Harrison. Susie was from the very beginning, and remained all her life, Butte Irish – proud of her family and place of birth, of her people, and of her heritage. Her life was defined by her devotion to her family, her community and her heritage.
Susie trained and qualified as a nurse at St. Patrick’s Nursing School. While there she met her husband, Pat Byrne, married and took a career break to raise five children. She returned to nursing and served the students and community at Curry Health Center at the University of Montana for over 20 years. She also devoted her time to promoting Irish heritage and culture.
Susie, and her husband, Pat, were among the most active members of the Irish community in Montana. They were there at the beginning of the Montana Gaelic Cultural Society; they participated in organizing festivals and Irish cultural activities; they organized the first visit of an Irish Consul General to Montana in 2003; and they partnered with the University of Montana to bring the President of Ireland, Mary McAleese, to launch the Irish Studies Program in 2006. It was during this visit that President McAleese admonished the audience at the University Theater that, “Those who draw the water should not forget those who dug the wells.”
This fund not only honors Susie’s wish that her commitment to Irish Studies should continue after her passing, it also honors her as one of those who dug the wells that has shaped the lives of so many people. We are among those people and consider ourselves privileged to have known Susie Byrne and to have known her friendship.
If you wish to join us in honoring Susie and her work, please click on the button below
Beannacht Dé lena hAnam Uasal – God Speed her Noble Soul
Go raibh míle maith agat – Thank you so very much