Jacqueline Byrne, 66

Worked at college

May 13, 2007

Jacqueline Ann Byrne, an administrative assistant at Anne Arundel Community College, died May 5 of pancreatic cancer at her Severna Park home. She was 66.

Born Jacqueline Ann Sommer in Cincinnati, she graduated in 1958 from Mother of Mercy High School there.

In 1960, she married Thomas E. Byrne, who survives her.

The family moved frequently throughout the 1960s because of Mr. Byrne's service with the Marine Corps.

In 1969, the Byrnes moved to Severna Park, where Mrs. Byrne worked as a secretary for several doctors' offices and the YMCA, her husband said.

In 1990, she became an administrative assistant for the science department at Anne Arundel Community College.

Although she reached retirement age last year, she continued working at the community college until she was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer shortly before Christmas, Mr. Byrne said.

"She loved the place to such a degree and was so at home down there that she would not even consider retiring," he said. "She loved the people she worked with there."

She had a passion for classical music, said Mr. Byrne, who recalled accompanying his wife to opera productions at the Lyric Opera House in Baltimore.

"I thought it would be like a sentence, but she loved it so much it was a pleasure to be there with her," he said.

An avid reader, Mrs. Byrne gravitated toward novels written by women.

"She had a profusion of books and loved anything by Jane Austen," Mr. Byrne said.

Mrs. Byrne was a longtime member of St. John the Evangelist Church in Severna Park, where services were held Thursday.

In addition to her husband, Mrs. Byrne is survived by two sons, Marine Col. Brennan T. Byrne of Boiling Springs, Pa., and Shannon P. Byrne of Severna Park; a brother, Robert Sommer of Detroit; a sister, Mary Nieman of Virginia Beach, Va.; and six grandchildren.

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