Service today for granddaughter of pioneers

A funeral service for Ruth E. Byrne, 96, a native Genoan and lifetime Nevada resident, will be 11 a.m. today at FitzHenry's Chapel of Faith, 833 N. Edmonds Drive in Carson City. Interment will follow in the family plot of the Churchill County Cemetery in Fallon.

Mrs. Byrne was born March 13, 1909, in Genoa to Henry and Emma Crammer-Bahl Walker. She died Jan. 8, 2006, at Evergreen Health Center in Gardnerville.

Mrs. Byrne's grandfather, John Walker Jr. (1818-1903) was a wheelwright at the Gray Blacksmith Shop in Genoa. The pioneer family arrived in Genoa during the fall of 1858. Her father, Henry (1852-1936) was a farmer and hauled freight to and from Carson Valley settlements. As a child Mrs. Byrne attended elementary school classes the first day the Genoa Courthouse was opened as a school in 1916. She married William H. Byrne of Virginia City in 1932. Mrs. Byrne lived in Virginia City, Genoa, Carson City, and Fallon, before moving to Minden.

Mrs. Byrne retired in the 1950s as a cook and then custodian for the Genoa Elementary School. She had fond memories and stories of student pranks, decorating the school for Christmas, sewing costumes for school entertainments, graduations, Easter egg hunts and other school activities. She volunteered for community projects such as the Genoa Candy Dance. She loved to sew, crochet, meet with friends and baby-sit her three grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her husband William in 1975, and siblings John, Arleen, Irene, Arthur, George and Bernice. Her death marks the end of the third generation of Walkers in Genoa.

Survivors include daughter Billie Jean and son-in-law Don Rightmire of Genoa; grandchildren Terry Rightmire of Minden, Robin and wife Paula of Red Rock, Sheryl and husband Lou Dembeck of Reno; great grandson Devon Rightmire of Reno.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Genoa Museum, care of the Douglas County Historical Society, 1477 Highway 395, Gardnerville, Nev., 89410.


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