Bertha “Birdie” Irene Byron, 101, of Wood River, passed away at 11:02 a.m. Monday, Oct. 5, 2015, at Rosewood Care Center of Alton.
Born in Alton on Aug. 31, 1914, she was the daughter of August Peter and Emma Theresa (Nolan) Eckhard.
Birdie had been employed as an admitting clerk at Wood River Township Hospital; served as a volunteer for the Wood River Hospital, St. Anthony Hospital for more than 40 years and Ursuline Convent auxiliaries; member of the Daughters of Isabella, Wood River Heritage Council and Wood River Women’s Club. She enjoyed knitting, crocheting, singing and dancing.
On Oct. 16, 1936, in Collinsville, she married Ralph Christoe Byron. He died April 20, 1984.
Surviving are a son, John (Sherrie) Byron of East Alton; daughters, Marsha Yarnell of Wood River, Jean (Ralph) Bruce of East Alton, Mary Jo (Ron) Schmidt of Edwardsville; 14 grandchildren, 22 great-grandchildren and six great-great-grandchildren.
Preceding in death were her parents; three brothers, Nolan, August and Michael Eckhard; five sisters, Agnes Calvin, Florence Hartman, Augusta Miller, Virginia Tonsor and Josephine Eckhard; son-in-law, Charles Yarnell; and grandson, Brock Yarnell.
Visitation will be from 10 a.m. until 11:45 a.m. Friday, Oct. 9, 2015, at Holy Angels Parish Church in Wood River, followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at noon. Father James Flach will officiate.
Burial will be in Rose Lawn Memory Gardens in Bethalto.
Memorials may be made to Masses at Holy Angels Church or OSF St. Anthony Hospital in Alton.
Marks Mortuary in Wood River is in charge of arrangements.