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James Patrick Byrne


James Patrick Byrne died peacefully at his home in Northfield, Ill., on Nov. 2, 2023, after a long battle with Parkinson’s disease.

Mr. Byrne was born Feb. 7, 1929, in Culbertson, Mont. James was raised on an eastern Montana sheep ranch and wheat farm, Hilltop Farms. The farm was homesteaded in 1916 by his Irish father after he immigrated from County Louth, Ireland. His father was soon joined by his equally Irish mother Sarah, a teacher.

James attended grade school in a one-room country schoolhouse one mile south of the family farm. His typical mode of transportation to school was walking or riding a horse, often times pulling his younger sisters on sleigh in the winter. He graduated high school from St. Thomas Military Academy, going on to attend and graduating from St. Thomas University in St. Paul, Minn., with a business degree in 1951.

He served in the United States Air Force as a second Lieutenant in the Central Air Procurement Division from 1951 to 1953.

He married Mary Margaret “Peggy” Roney from Grosse Point, Mich., in 1958. They lived in Baltimore, Md., and Wilmette, Ill., before settling in Winnetka, Ill., in 1965 where he and Peggy raised six children.

Mr. Byrne was an independent businessman, entrepreneur and financier for more than 50 years, owning and running a wide-range of traditional and high technology businesses. Early on, he owned several businesses in the auto industry that received, modified and transported new cars by rail and truck transport from the shipyards on both American coasts. He then started a Chicago company that transported cars from the Ford Motor plant, on the south side of Chicago, to Midwest dealerships. In later years, his business interests moved to the software and financial services industries. He established Momentum Systems based in Mukilteo, Wash., providing maintenance and support services as well as hardware for high volume data communication software used by major banks

and other financial institutions.

He is survived by his wife, Mary Margaret “Peggy” Byrne nee Roney; his children, Mary Margaret Gronskis, Rosemary Roney (Carey) Dowdle, James P. Byrne Jr., Kathleen Marie (David) Kennedy and David Michael (Lori) Byrne; 10 grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren. Also surviving are his sisters, Mary Lou Byrne of Denver, Colo., and Theresa Byrne (Phillip) Westine of Pantego, Texas.

He was preceded in death by his parents, James and Sarah Byrne; his sisters Margaret Rose Byrne and Sarah Ann (Dr. Robert) Craven; his beloved son, Peter; and his sonin-law, George Gronskis. A Mass of Christian Burial was held Monday, Nov. 6, 2023, at Saints Faith, Hope & Charity Church, Winnetka IL 60093, followed by Interment at Sacred Heart Catholic Cemetery, Northbrook. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research. Info: donnellanfuneral. com.

(Paid Obituary)

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