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Obituary Dorothy Marie Byrne, SP

Obituary Dorothy Marie Byrne, SP

(Sister Dolores)

Sister Dorothy Marie Byrne, 97, a Sister of Providence for 76 years, died April 5 at Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane, Washington. A funeral Mass was held on Friday, April 16, at 10 a.m. at Sacred Heart Church, Spokane. Burial followed at Holy Cross Cemetery, Spokane. Holy Cross Funeral and Cemetery Services was in charge of arrangements.

Sister Dorothy Byrne, SP, was born in Lothair, Monana,. on Nov. 17, 1923, to John L. Byrne and Minnie C. (Greiner) Byrne. She and her brother, Fr. Joseph Byrne, were raised in Kevin, Montana, and she attended public school there. She attended and graduated from the Ursuline Academy in Great Falls, Montana..

Following a year at the College of Great Falls (now University of Providence) Sister Dorothy went to work for the Boeing Company in Seattle during World War II. In 1943, she entered the Sisters of Providence at the advice and encouragement of Fr. Charles Suver, SJ. In 1945, Sister Dorothy made first profession, and her final vows in 1948.

Sister Dorothy earned a BA in social science from College of Great Falls in Montana (1954), a MA in history from Gonzaga University inSpokane, Washington,(1962), and a Masters in Religious Education from Seattle University (1974).

Her many ministry assignments included teaching and/or administration at various schools: St. Joseph Academy, Sprague, Washington, (1945-47); St. Francis Xavier School, Missoula, Montana, (1947-49, 1954-56); St. Raphael School, Glasgow, Montana, (1949-53) (Sister Dorothy was one of the foundresses of St. Raphael School); St. Gerard School, Great Falls, Montana, (1953-54); DeSales Catholic High School, Walla Walla, Washington, (1961-63); Sacred Heart Academy, principal and teacher, Missoula, Montana, (1963-64); Marycliff High School, Spokane, Washington, (1967-72). She was also the local superior of the College of Great Falls in Montana (1964-67).

From 1972-78, Sister Dorothy was the adult education consultant and later director of the Diocesan Religious Education Office, Diocese of Spokane. In 1978, she was elected to provincial leadership of St. Ignatius Province, Sisters of Providence, for a four-year term, as councilor for religious and personal development. She then served in parish ministry for 20 years. Some of her favorite stints in ministry were at Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish, Spokane, Washington, (1982-84); and Sacred Heart Parish as pastoral associate from 1984 to present. She also served for 15 years on the governing board of Sacred Heart Medical Center, Spokane, Washington, and other boards.

In 1988, Sister Dorothy experienced the great joy of attending the canonization of a distant cousin, Fr. Agustine Schoeffler, in Rome.

Sister Dorothy was preceded in death by her parents and her brother, Fr. Joseph Byrne. She is survived by the sisters in her community.

To view Sister Dorothy’s obituary and picture, and to sign her memory book, please visit the website for Holy Cross Funeral & Cemetery Services at In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Catholic Charities Eastern Washington.