July 24, 2019

Rita Marie (Jewison) Byron, 91, of Waseca died peacefully Wednesday morning, July 24, 2019, in her home surrounded by family in Waseca. Mass of Christian Burial will be 11 a.m. Wednesday, July 31, at Church of the Sacred Heart in Waseca with the Rev. Gregory Leif as celebrant. Burial will be in Calvary Cemetery. Visitation will be 5–7 p.m. Tuesday, July 30, with sharing of memories to follow, all at Starkson & Steffel Funeral & Cremation Service ~ McRaith Chapel of Waseca. Visitation will continue for one hour prior to the Wednesday service at the church.

Rita was born June 29, 1928, in Janesville, the eighth of nine children born to Arthur and Kathryn (Cahill) Jewison. She attended Country School District 28 in Waseca County and graduated from Janesville High School with the Class of 1946.

She married James Francis Byron Aug. 30, 1950, at St. Ann’s Catholic Church in Janesville. She and her husband Jim raised 11 children on the family farm. Education was very important to Rita. She took great pride in the accomplishments of her children, and that they all attended college. According to Jim, she was more outgoing than he was, and she loved any opportunity to visit with family and friends. She also loved taking care of her grandchildren. Rita was proud of her Irish heritage and enjoyed two wonderful trips to Ireland with Jim.

Rita was a faithful member of St. Mary’s and then Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Waseca where she was active in Catholic Daughters, Bible study, church circle and taught religious ed. She was a eucharistic minister for many years at Sacred Heart.

She loved any opportunity to help those in need. She volunteered as a driver for persons needing medical treatment in Owatonna and Rochester. She was a 4-H leader, Home Extension club member and enjoyed square dancing. Rita and Jim were crowned Mr. and Mrs. Emerald Isle for the Irish American Club in 1998.

Rita is survived by her loving husband of nearly 69 years, James; children, Thomas (Patty Schiefelbein) Byron of Ellendale, Helen (Juan) Valencia of Waseca, James (Brenda Root) Byron of Waseca, Karen (Tom) Pathoulas of Mantorville, Rita (Roger) Liddell of Eau Claire, Wisconsin, Dr. David (Lisa Clemons) Byron of Hutchinson, Chris Byron of Waseca, Donna (Dr. Jeff) Alto of Mankato, Martha (Jim) Buntrock of Rochester and Joe Byron of Hutchinson; 25 grandchildren; 15 great-grandchildren; brothers and sisters-in-law, Paul and Mayone Byron, Helen (Byron) Curran and Sr. Colleen Byron; and many nieces and nephews.

Rita was preceded in death by her son Daniel Byron; parents; four sisters, Ellen (Joe) Tetzloff, Elaine (Frank) Sheeran, Faye (Art) Groh and Grace (Rudy) Kopischke; four brothers, Artie (Rita) Jewison, Bill (Anita) Jewison, Father Harry Jewison and Joe (Rose) Jewison; brothers and sisters-in-law, Mildred (Byron) Marple, George and Mary Jane Byron, Raymond Curran and Bill and Mary Ann Byron.

Arrangements are with Starkson & Steffel Funeral & Cremation Service ~ McRaith Chapel of Waseca, at wasecafuneral.com.

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