OLEAN - Michael "Papa" Byrne, of 213 N. 15th Street., Olean, passed away Friday (March 27th, 2020) at the Olean General Hospital Intensive Care Unit shortly after saying goodbye to his loved ones after a courageous battle with pneumonia.
Born Jan. 21, 1946, in Fall River, MA, he was the son of the late Harold and Veronica Delekta Byrne. On Oct. 24, 1970, in St. John's Church, he married his forever soul mate Mary Lou Marra who predeceased him on August 16, 2011.
Mike was a graduate of Irondequoit High School in Rochester, class of 1964. He went on to earn his Bachelor of Science degree in Counseling from Empire State College SUNY and his Master of Science degree in Education (Special Education) from Alfred University. His impressive career spanned three decades and included two retirements, one with The Rehabilitation Center of Olean and one with BOCES within the New York State Education system. More importantly, Mike dedicated his life and career to helping those with special needs. He received many accolades thru his career, one that meant the most to him was witnessing the students he taught from a young age thru adulthood gain independence and successfully become a part of the workforce. Mike especially loved all of his grandchildren, they were his biggest joy in life. His favorite hobbies thru the years included golfing, reading, attending sporting events, and shooting at the “Rod and Gun Club”.
Mike is survived by two sons, Chris Byrne of Olean and Greg (Marie) Byrne of Charleston, S.C.; seven grandchildren, Ashley, Michaela, Christopher, Ryan, Zachary, McGregor and Tilton; a sister, Kathy (Jerry) Coyne of Rochester; and many nieces and nephews.
Due to the ongoing circumstances with the current COVID- 19 pandemic, the family has decided to honor Mike at a later date, when family and friends can be present. Burial will be in St. Bonaventure Cemetery, Allegany.
Memorials may be made to Intandem, 1439 Buffalo Street, Olean.
Funeral arrangements are under the direction of the Guenther Funeral Home, Inc., 1303 E. State Street, Olean. Online condolences may be made at www.guentherfh.com.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Michael H. Byrne, please visit our floral store.