Sheila Ann Byrne, daughter of Thomas A. Byrne and Margaret Hanrahan Byrne, was born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She attended St. Sebastian School, Holy Angels Academy, and University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where she majored in art and education. She subsequently earned a Master’s Degree in Journalism from Marquette University.
After her graduation, she taught at Badger Middle School in West Bend, Wisconsin. She then moved to Denver where she managed cable television systems for Time-Warner Cable. After a move to Austin, Texas, she taught for several years at St. Louis Catholic School.
In 1989, Sheila moved with family to Novato, California, where she taught fifth grade for 25 years at Our Lady of Loretto School. She was treasured there as a teacher who was particularly sensitive to children’s needs. Years later, adults would stop her on the street, hugging her and greeting her fondly, “Miss Byrne!” and sharing their children’s stories with her.
She is survived by sisters Mary Byrne Knudsen and Angela Byrne Knudsen and their husbands, brothers Kenneth and Philip Knudsen both of whom welcomed Sheila as an essential part of their whole loving family as have nieces and nephews Brian and Chris Knudsen and Casey Dominguez, Nick Knudsen and Lizzie Moggio. All have loved her dearly, sought her company at family occasions and have copies of her artwork in their homes.
Sheila will be missed for the great love for life she shared with all, a unique artistic talent that she shared with all the family and especially all the children, and a keen and deep intelligence that added her unique wisdom to many lives.
She will be missed deeply, and forever.
She will be buried at Holy Cross Cemetery in Milwaukee, WI. In lieu of flowers, you may choose to send donations in Sheila’s honor to feedingamerica.org.