Janette Helen Byrne, 93

Janette Helen Byrne, age 93 of Waterville passed away surrounded by family on August 7, 2020 at the Lakeshore Inn in Waseca.

Janette was born on November 9, 1926 on her grandparents’ farm north of Lake Tetonka. She was the daughter of Seger and Helen (Kritzer) Seljeskog. She graduated from country school in 1940 and Waterville High School in 1944. She met a handsome man at a dance in Waseca, her future husband, and they dated for a year and a half. She married Robert Byrne Sr. on June 20, 1945 at the Evangelical United Brethren Church in Waterville. To this union eight children were born. Together they shared 55 years of marriage before Bob passed away in July of 2000. They shared their last dance together on June 20, 1998 to the “Anniversary Waltz” at their grandson’s wedding in South Dakota.

She spent the early years of their marriage as a homemaker and a mom. Always providing a safe and happy home for Bob and the children. Once the children were grown, she began her professional career. She was a paraprofessional at WEM for 23 years, retiring in May of 1993. During her time at WEM she enjoyed helping and encouraging many students. Her grandchildren would bring their homework over to Grandma’s to help with algebra and fractions.

She was an active member of the Evangelical United Brethren Church, and later the Evangelical United Methodist Church, teaching Sunday School, singing in the choir, assisting with the chicken and biscuit supper, the Christmas cookie walk, Bullhead Days hamburger stand and active in various women’s groups.

Throughout her life Janette loved to travel visiting places such as Hawaii, the Caribbean, England, Norway, and even such simple trips as a Sunday drive around the lake. She also liked doing embroidery, watching the Minnesota Twins, and playing games such as hide the thimble, Annie-Annie over and Scrabble with her children and grandchildren. She always had the coffee on. Saturday morning coffee and donuts was a tradition the entire family enjoyed every Saturday for over 20 years rain or shine; and guests were always welcome.

Janette is survived by seven children, Anita (Don) Swift of Waterville, Luanne Byrne of Waseca, Robert Byrne Jr of Belle Plaine, Donald (Debby) Byrne of Waterville, Linda Rumrey of Aberdeen, SD, Peggy Klotz (Mike Lunde) of Owatonna, and Sharon Byrne of Waterville; thirteen grandchildren, Kevin Swift of Eau Claire, WI, Robyn Swift of Waterville, Christina Byrne of New York City, NY, Bayla (Scott) Richards of Maryland, NY, David Byrne of Waterville, Jeremy (Kristy) Byrne of St Clair, Chad (Amanda) Simes of Ipswich, SD, Eric (Brandy) Simes of Ham Lake, Kyle Hagel of Sacramento, CA, Anthony (Katelynn) Hagel of Owatonna, John Klotz of Frazee, Laura Klotz of Freeport, Kacy Byrne of Waterville; 30 great-grandchildren; and one great-great-grandchild. She was preceded in death by her parents; one sister, Mae Schuette; her husband of 55 years, Bob; one son, James Frances; one grandson William Joseph; one granddaughter, Rachel Lynn; one great-grandson, Austin; and two sons-in-law, Randy Klotz and Kent Rumrey.

A public visitation will be held from 4-7 p.m. on Friday, August 14, 2020 at Dennis Funeral & Cremation Services in Waterville. Private family services will be held. Interment will follow at Sakatah Cemetery in Waterville. dennisfuneralhomes.com

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