Elvira C. Byrne, of Syracuse and Nantucket, passed away peacefully with family by her side on February 4, 2019.
Vera was born on September 16, 1924, in New York City to John J. Costello, Sr. and Elvira Hageman Costello. She subsequently moved with her family to Drexel Hill, Pennsylvania, and then to Syracuse in 1939.
Vera graduated from Sacred Heart Academy in Drexel Hill in 1942 and Syracuse University in 1946, where she served as the President of her sorority, Theta Phi Alpha. She subsequently earned a Master of Education degree from Syracuse University in 1947. Vera married Matthew V. Byrne Jr. on August 30, 1947.
Vera devoted her life to caring for her family, her friends and the extended community. She was immensely proud of her children, her grandchildren and her great-grandchildren.
Vera began her life-long career of community service during World War II, volunteering with the Red Cross. Subsequently, she volunteered for many years as a lay teacher with the French Church in Syracuse, then with the nascent Syracuse Symphony Orchestra. She also devoted herself for years to the Girl Scouts, Loretto Geriatric Center and Immaculate Conception Church in Fayetteville.
Vera cherished her summers spent on Nantucket Island with her family and friends: needlepointing on the beach, going on bird walks, and hunting for undiscovered wild blueberry bushes for Pop's annual birthday blueberry pie. She was also a prize-winning needlepoint artist.
Vera was predeceased by her father and mother, her husband, and brother, John J. Costello Jr. She is survived by her sister, Delores C. Kelley of Jacksonville, Florida, and her five children: Michael (Susan) of Skaneateles; Matthew V., III of Fayetteville; Dr. Melanie B. Thomas of Chapel Hill, North Carolina; Lawrence (Anne) of Houston, Texas; and Amy B. (Thomas) Kleissler of Chapel Hill, North Carolina. She is also survived by eleven grandchildren, six great-grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews.
A calling hour will be held at Immaculate Conception Church in Fayetteville, on Saturday, February 16th, from 10:00 a.m. until 11:00 a.m., with a funeral Mass to follow immediately thereafter. Burial will be in Immaculate Conception Cemetery in Fayetteville. A reception for family and friends will follow afterwards in Dwyer Hall at I.C.
In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation in Vera's name to The Centers at St. Camillus, 813 Fay Road, Syracuse, New York 13219, in recognition of the loving care the St. Camillus staff gave to Vera every moment she lived there.