Richard Joseph Byrne
Richard Joseph Byrne
  • August 13, 1932 - June 19, 2017
  • Little Rock, Arkansas

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Richard Joseph Byrne, 84, passed peacefully on Monday, June 19, 2017, with family at his side. Born August 13, 1932, Richard was a lifelong resident of Little Rock, Arkansas. He attended Catholic grade school and high school, graduating from Catholic High School for Boys as an all-state basketball player. He graduated from St. Louis University in Missouri, where he attended on a basketball scholarship.

He leaves his wife of 60 years, Emogene 'Empie' Byrne; his five sons: Ron (and wife, Ellen), of Oklahoma; Randy (and Jessica Rice), of Little Rock; Richard (and wife, Catherine), of Cincinnati; Roch (and wife Diana), of Little Rock, and Rusty (and wife, Debbie), of Little Rock. He also leaves behind 9 grandchildren (Will, John, Kate, Michael, Travis, Bailey, Darby, Holly and Kylie), who all deeply adored their 'Zak.' Richard was preceded in death by his mother and father, Zita and Leo Byrne, as well as his two brothers, Raymond and Robert Byrne.

Richard pursued many interests and loved knowledge for the sake of knowledge. He was a CPA and a member of the Arkansas Bar. He passed the Series 7, was a registered broker and commodity trader. Prior to falling ill with dementia, he was attending UALR music classes and was quite the pianist, composing several original pieces. He was past President of the Little Rock Jaycees, Grand Knight of the local Knights of Columbus chapter, and a member of the Irish Cultural Society of Arkansas. Richard was also a military veteran, serving in the U.S. Army.

Richard was a great provider, contributing in countless ways for his family. His incredible work ethic allowed his children to attend private secondary schooling and mostly private colleges. He instilled in his children the ability to think for themselves. He provided an excellent example of marriage. And most importantly, he provided us with the example of loving Jesus by following his Catholic faith, attending mass almost daily for the past 30 years.

Richard loved his family dearly and loved spending time with his grandkids. He especially loved traveling with the family and was always up for an adventure - including family trips to Alaska, Ireland, Costa Rica, and island-hopping in the Bahamas.

Visitation will be Friday, June 23, 2017, from 6:00 PM - 7:00, at Griffin Leggett Healey & Roth Funeral Home at 5800 W. 12th Street, Little Rock 72204; followed by a Rosary Service that evening from 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM. Funeral mass will be held Saturday, June 24, 2017, at 10:00 AM at Christ the King Catholic Church, at 4000 N. Rodney Parham Rd., Little Rock.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made in Richard's memory to Christ the King Catholic School, 4002 N. Rodney Parham Rd., Little Rock, AR 72212.