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The Rev. James O. Byrne, 99, died at 9:45 a.m. Wednesday, July 6, 2011, at St. Charles Center infirmary in Carthagena.
He was born on Aug. 28, 1911, in Glynnwood, to Thomas P. and Anna (Cogan) Byrne, and they preceded him in death.
He is survived by his nieces and nephews, Kathleen (Paul) Wehrle of Sidney, Mary Agnes (Robert) Cogan of Berea, Tom (Kathy) Byrne of Lima, Margie (Gene) Horman of Wapakoneta, Janet (Mike) Ott of Glynnwood, Patty (Paul) Korte of Grand Rapids, Mich., Mary Ann Will of Minster, Dr. Ted (Mary Margaret) Will of Bemidji, Minn., Tom (Sandy) Will of Fon du Lac, Wis.; numerous great-nieces and great-nephews.
He was preceded in death by two brothers, Thomas Byrne, the Rev. John P. Byrne, C.PP.S.; two sisters Sr. Mary Alice Byrne, RSM, Margaret Will.
He was a 1929 graduate of St. Joseph High School in Wapakoneta. He also graduated from St. Gregory Seminary in Cincinnati and Mount St. Mary Seminary in Norwood. On May 22, 1937, he was ordained into the Roman Catholic priesthood at St. Peter in Chains Cathedral in Cincinnati.
He was the oldest priest in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. During his tenure, he served numerous parishes, including: St. Patrick’s (northside) in Cincinnati, Nativity in Pleasant Ridge, St. Paul’s in Yellow Springs, St. Paul’s in Cincinnati, St. Anthony’s in Madisonville and St. Mary’s in Urbana.
He retired from administration after serving as pastor of St. Albert the Great in Kettering. In retirement, he served as pastor emeritus for Holy Rosary in St. Marys. He also served 12 years as business manager of Purcell Marian High School in Cincinnati.
He was a member of Knights of Columbus Council No. 1592 in St. Marys, the Legion of Mary at Holy Rosary Parish and a 4th degree member of St. Gaspar del Bufalo Assembly No. 825 in Minster. He served on the College of Consultors for the archdiocese and, in 1954, he selected the location for the establishment of Lehman Catholic High School in Sidney.
He was an avid sports fan and especially enjoyed Cincinnati Reds baseball games. His favorite pastime was fishing. He was especially proud of his Irish heritage.
A Requiem Mass will be held at 2 p.m. Monday at Our Lady of the Holy Rosary Catholic Church, 511 E. Spring St., St. Marys, with the Rev. Dennis M. Schnurr and the Rev. Daniel E. Pilarczyk, officiating. Burial will follow at St. Thomas Cemetery in Glynnwood. Visitation will be held from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday at the church.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be directed to the Rev. James O. Byrne Fund for Seminarians, Holy Rosary Catholic Church or St. Charles Center.
Online condolences may be expressed via Millerfuneralhomes.net. Arrangements are entrusted to Miller Funeral Home, 1605 Celina Road, St. Marys.