Paul E. Byrne, 82, passed away Sunday morning, February 12, 2006 in Billings. Paul was born on September 25, 1923, in Great Falls, grew up on the family farm north of Shelby, and resided in Montana for most of his life.
Preceding him in death were his parents Edward and Nona, his brother Edward, Jr., his sister Rita Johannsen, and an infant son, Michael. He is survived by his wife Elsie, a son Douglas (wife Robin) of Albuquerque, NM, a daughter Maureen Shipp (husband Doug) of Billings, and grandchildren Joe, Kelsey, and Dillon Byrne and Chris, Caitlin, and Becca Shipp.
Paul graduated from Shelby High School in 1941, worked for Boeing in Seattle during 1942, and entered the US Army Air Corps in 1943. He fought in the European Theater in World War II, and participated in the Normandy invasion and in the Battle of the Bulge. He was honorably discharged in 1946, and after returning home, attended the University of Montana in Missoula from 1946 to 1951. He met Elsie M. Wallin and they were married on June 1, 1951. They resided during their married life in Billings, Wolf Point, Glasgow, Great Falls, Brady, and Dutton, returning to live in Billings in 1978. For the first 10 years of their marriage, Paul worked for Continental Oil Company, and then spent several years working in the life and casualty insurance business. He had always loved the land and farming, and went to work for Federal Crop Insurance Corporation in 1966, where he remained until he retired 29 years later in 1995 as Assistant Regional Director.
Paul was active in the Catholic Church for all of his life, and was a member of the St. Thomas parish in Billings, the Knights of Columbus, and the Holy Name Society.
As an FBI (Full Blooded Irishman), Paul was happiest when his clever sense of humor was at work. He loved being the family patriarch (when he finally had grandchildren) and all trappings that went with that title. Loves and hobbies included fishing and hunting, gardening (particularly roses), and attending children and grandchildren functions.
Honey, Dad, and Grandpa, we’ll miss you terribly, but we know you’re out of pain and in peace with our Lord in a “lovely room in His mansion.”
Memorials may be given to St. Thomas Parish, the Knights of Columbus, Holy Cross Cemetery, or the charity of your choice.
Vigil services will be 7pm Friday at Michelotti-Sawyers Mortuary. Funeral Mass will be 10am Saturday at St. Thomas The Apostle Church. Rite of Committal and Military Honors will be at Holy Cross Cemetery.