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John W. Byrne
1928 - 2021
Knapp Johnson Harris Funeral Home
204 West Husseman Street
Roanoke, IL

John W. Byrne

Oct. 23, 1928 - Oct. 12, 2021

ROANOKE - John W. Byrne, 92, formerly of Roanoke, IL, passed away on Tuesday, October 12, 2021, at the Apostolic Christian Home of Eureka.

He was born on October 23, 1928, in Pontiac, IL, to Ira and Vera Rittenhouse Byrne. He married Letha Garretson on May 8, 1949, in Graymont, IL. She survives.

Also surviving are his five children: Linda (John) Blossom, Denise Byrne, Peggy (Allan) Scheirer, Mike (Sherry) Byrne, and Jeff Byrne; six grandchildren: Tim (Jill) Scheirer, Andy Scheirer, Rachael (Nick) Scott, Allyson (Jason) Dworak, John W. (Brooke) Byrne, and Kassandra (Chris) Walton; ten great-grandchildren and the 11-th on the way; and many loving nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents; his infant twin sister, Rosemary; and three brothers: Robert, David, and Allan.

John taught at Sowers Elementary School, retiring in 1992. Before teaching he farmed at Saunemin for 12 years, and then served as a supply-pastor at Deer Creek/Secor United Methodist Churches and then the Roanoke United Methodist Church. He was also pastor at McDowell UMC, and then Hudson UMC during the early years of his teaching career.

John was a member of the Roanoke United Methodist Church, where he was active in many areas and started their senior fellowship for the community. Always wanting to give and help others, John and Letha were active with NOMADS through the United Methodist Global Ministries. They served on over 27 missions, from 1995-2008. John enjoyed traveling and camping in his RV, sailing, playing games and socializing.

A celebration of life service will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, October 23, 2021, at the Roanoke United Methodist Church. Memorial visitation will be on Friday from 4:30 - 6:30 p.m., also at the church.

Cremation rites will be accorded, and inurnment will be held at a later date at Sunny Slope Cemetery in Saunemin.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Roanoke United Methodist Church, Apostolic Christian Home of Eureka, or United Methodist NOMADS global ministries. Online condolences and tributes may be sent to the family at

Published by The Pantagraph on Oct. 16, 2021.
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4:30p.m. - 6:30p.m.
Roanoke United Methodist Church
Celebration of Life
Roanoke United Methodist Church
Funeral services provided by:
Knapp Johnson Harris Funeral Home
Sponsored by Knapp Johnson Harris Funeral Home.
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2 Entries
Such an inspiring teacher... Never forget the day Mr. Byrne teaching me the curvature of the earth... I finally grasped the concept... Such a wonderful soul... Thanks for all your caring lessons
Sue Aeschleman
October 22, 2021
So sorry to receive this message. I enjoyed knowing your family in Saunemin.
Vera Fulton Price
October 16, 2021
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