Albert Byrne Litschgi
Albert Byrne Litschgi
  • December 31, 1920 - January 31, 2017
  • Tampa, Florida

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96, of Tampa, Florida, passed away peacefully in the presence of his son on January 31, 2017.

Byrne was born to Mary Catherine Byrne Litschgi and Albert William Litschgi on December 31, 1920, in Charleston, South Carolina. His sisters, Anna Marguerite Litschgi Woodruff, Jeanette Litschgi Horsfield, Mary Keim Litschgi Anderson, as well as his parents, predeceased him. Byrne's loving wife of 63 years, Mary Elaine Herring Litschgi, predeceased him on September 20, 2016.

Byrne moved to Tampa in 1925 and grew up in Seminole Heights, graduating from Plant High School in 1937. Byrne studied business at the University of Florida, was a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity and Florida Blue Key, and was president of the senior class, graduating in 1941.

Byrne received his commission to the United States Navy in 1941, and served in the European and Pacific theaters of operations during World War II as a gunnery officer on the USS Boise and the USS Wilkes Barre. He was a Lieutenant Commander during the War and attained the rank of Commander as a Reserve Officer after the War, retiring in 1980.

After graduating from Harvard Law School in 1948, Byrne began his career in Washington, D.C., serving in the office of Tax Legislative Counsel, as the Legislative Assistant to Senator George Smathers, and in the United States Treasury Office of International Finance. Byrne practiced law in Washington, D.C. until his return to Tampa in 1960. He worked on the presidential campaigns of Adlai Stevenson, John F. Kennedy, and Lyndon Baines Johnson. President Kennedy appointed Byrne as an incorporator, original director and chairman of the finance committee of Communications Satellite Corporation (“COMSAT”) (1962-1964). He was a member of the Advisory Group to the United States Commissioner of Internal Revenue (1967-1969) and the Florida Judicial Council (1965-1969).

Byrne was the founder and director of Merchant Bancorporation, (now Ft. Brooke Bank) (1983-1994). He was also the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Manatee Terminals, Inc. (1979-1984) and served as Chairman of the Board of SL industries Inc. (1976 to 1992). He was also a Director and later Chairman of the Executive Committee of Orange-co, Inc., a large Florida citrus growing, packing and processing company (1987-1991).

In 1985, Governor Bob Graham appointed Byrne Chairman of The Florida Hospital Cost Containment Board. Byrne served as the Chairman of the Tampa Downtown Development Authority from 1976 to 1984. During that time, he was instrumental in bringing Mr. Prizker to Tampa to develop the Hyatt Regency Hotel and Tampa City Center. Also, during this time, Byrne assisted in the development of TECO Plaza, Atlantic Bank Building, The Plaza on the Mall, the Performing Arts Center, Ashley Tower, Barnett Plaza, and Harbour Island.

Byrne was committed to serving the less fortunate through his service to Metropolitan Ministries and the Divine Providence Food Bank. He was also dedicated to serving Christ the King Parish, the Diocese of St. Petersburg and Jesuit High School, being recognized by his Holiness Pope John Paul II, and by Robert Lynch, the Bishop of the Diocese of Saint Petersburg, receiving the PRO ECCLESIA ET PONTIFICE ST. JUDE THE APOSTLE.

Byrne was a retired Senior Partner at Holland and Knight. His memberships included The Florida Bar; District of Columbia Bar Association; Metropolitan Ministries, Board Member; Jesuit High School Foundation, Member of the Board of Directors and Past President; Emory University School of Nursing, Advisor; Hillsborough County Governance Review Committee, Vice Chairman, (1988-1990); Harvard Law School Council, Member, (1958-1962); Harvard Law School, Secretary, Class of 1948.

Byrne was a member at Palma Ceia Golf and Country Club, Tampa Yacht Club, The University Club, The Tampa Club, Harbour Island Athletic Club, Wildcat Cliffs Country Club, and Cedar Creek Racquet Club.

Byrne is survived by his children, Albert Byrne Litschgi, Jr. and Kathy Litschgi McElwaney , his daughter-in-law, Valerie Stoker Litschgi, his grandchildren, Victoria Litschgi, Byrne Litschgi, Brett Litschgi, David McElwaney and Daniel McElwaney. The family greatly appreciates the care of the nurses, caregivers and staff of The Estate of Hyde Park, Harmony Healthcare, and Hospice.

A visitation will be held at Christ the King Catholic Church, 821 South Dale Mabry, Tampa, Florida, on Saturday, February 4, 2017, from 11:30am to 1:30pm with a funeral mass to follow at 2pm. Interment will follow at Myrtle Hill Memorial Park immediately following the funeral mass.

Donations can be made in Byrne’s memory to Metropolitan Ministries, Jesuit High School, or Christ the King Church.