Michael James Francis Byrne
Michael James Francis Byrne
  • November 9, 1972 - September 20, 2017
  • Columbia, Missouri

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Michael James Francis Byrne, 44, of Columbia, MO, passed away on Wednesday, September 20, 2017. He died peacefully at his home in Columbia after a courageous battle with cancer.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, October 7, 2017 at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Columbia, 2615 Shepard Blvd, Columbia, MO at 2:00PM.

A fifth-generation New Zealander, Michael was born November 9, 1972 in Manila, Philippines, the son of Anthony Norman and Heather Jean (McLaughlin) Byrne. After a childhood spent in New Zealand and Washington, DC, Michael made history in 1997 as the first student to graduate from the University of Otago (Dunedin, New Zealand) with three bachelor’s degrees in law, arts and commerce. In 2002 he earned a J.D. from Harvard Law School.

Michael was married on June 16, 2007 in Charlottesville, VA to Rigel Christine Oliveri. In 2005 the couple moved from Washington, DC to Columbia, where Michael established himself as a well-regarded attorney, mentor, community member, and friend to many.

Survivors include his wife, Rigel Oliveri; two children, Griffin Patrick Byrne (9) and Shenandoah “Shennie” Jean Byrne (6); his parents Anthony and Jean Byrne of Washington DC and New Zealand; one sister, Patricia Byrne (Eric Carr) of Falls Church, VA and a host of relatives and friends.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Camp Kesem – Mizzou OR to a fund for Michael’s children (make checks payable to: NFS FBO Byrne & Oliveri Trust) c/o Memorial Funeral Home, 1217 Business Loop 70 West Columbia, MO 65202.