Robert C. Byrne Jr. ’67 (CLAS), ’70 MS

Robert Cooper Byrne, Jr, 86, was born on December 29, 1937, in Northampton, MA. He resided in Princeton, IL until his passing on Saturday, February 10, 2024.

Bob was born in Northampton, MA to the late, Dr. Robert Byrne, Sr. and Ethel (Redman) Byrne.

He graduated from Smith Academy HS in 1955, followed by Mt. Hermon School in 1956. Bob earned a BSc degree from Union College in 1960 and obtained a MA in Science from UConn in 1967, followed by a MS in Chemistry from the same university in 1970.

Bob began as a high school chemistry teacher in Danielson, CT, from 1963 to 1967. In 1970, he joined the faculty of Illinois Valley Community College, where he taught chemistry for 31 years until his retirement in 2001.

In 1997, he received the prestigious Catalyst Award for his exceptional teaching skills and commitment to his students’ success. Bob’s contributions earned him the status of an emeritus member of the American Chemical Society.

He actively served as a weather observer for the CoCoRahs Network since 2012, providing crucial data to enhance meteorological understanding. Bob also worked as a Co-op Observer for the National Weather Service, furthering his commitment to weather reporting. He was a member and served as the President of the Optimist Club.

Bob found joy in skiing, biking, and fly fishing, relishing the beauty of the outdoors. A die-hard fan of the Red Sox, he dedicated countless hours to supporting his favorite team. His green thumb was evident in his love for gardening from flowers to fruits and vegetables and participated in local fairs, winning numerous awards.

A private memorial service and burial will be at a later date in Hatfield, MA.

Bob is survived by his loving wife of 33 plus years, Pamela Byrne of Princeton, IL, and his daughter, Roxy Lee. He will be deeply missed by his brothers, Dr. Richard Byrne, Dr. David Byrne, and William Byrne. Bob’s memory will also be cherished by his grandchildren, Jackson Smeeton and Makenzie Smeeton.

Preceding Bob are his parents, Dr. Robert Byrne, Sr. and Ethel Byrne.