Nona Jane Byrnes, 95, of Loveland died March 10, 2013. She was born September 11, 1917 in Dunlap, Iowa to Dr. Robert and Gladys Moore. Nona graduated from Dunlap High School and attended the University of Iowa, graduating in 1939 with a degree in speech and communication. Following her graduation she taught high school speech and English in Harlan, Iowa. She married Dr. C.W. Byrnes in December 1941. Nona and Doc Byrnes lived in Dunlap, Iowa where he was a physician, and together they raised six children; Ann, Jane, Bill, Sara, Mary, and Bob. As a 40 year old mother she returned to the University of Nebraska-Omaha and obtained her master's degree in speech pathology. In 1963, she began her position as a speech pathologist with Loess Hills Area Education Agency in Harlan, IA. serving over 750 school aged children with speech and language problems. She gained great satisfaction from seeing children making progress in overcoming their challenges. In 1982, three years after the death of her husband, she retired and relocated to Mesa, Arizona where her brother and wife, and friends lived. Nona's Arizona years started a new chapter in her life....golfing year round, playing duplicate bridge, and traveling the globe. She enjoyed trips to Africa, India, China, the Amazon and many other countries. At seventy-five she hiked the Grand Canyon, and at age 78 biked across Denmark. To celebrate her 80th birthday, Nona and her traveling companion enjoyed a Mediterranean boat cruise, toasting her birthday with a swim in the sea. Her children and grandchildren spent many Arizona vacations in Leisure World, Mesa, AZ enjoying Nona's retirement life. In 2007, Nona relocated to Loveland, CO to be closer to family. She continued to play duplicate bridge, do daily crossword puzzles, express her political opinions, watch golf on TV, and enjoy her children and grandchildren. Every five years, Nona's large family gathered to honor her birthday and celebrate the life of their mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother Byrnes. She loved this time with her family and will be greatly missed at the next reunion. Nona was preceded in death by her husband, Dr. C.W. Byrnes; son William Byrnes; granddaughter Christine Lewis-Hastings; her parents and siblings and many friends. She is survived by daughters Ann Zebrowski, Jane (Robert) Lewis, Sara Byrnes (David Rodermel), Mary Byrnes (Larry Curtis); and son Robert (Mary) Byrnes. She is also survived by 13 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren. A memorial service will be held in Dunlap, Iowa at a later date. In lieu of flowers, please make any memorial gifts to Pathways Hospice or the Harlan Iowa Elementary Special Education Program.
Published in Loveland Reporter-Herald on Mar. 17, 2013