Lucille Elaine Johnson Byram passed away peacefully on July 22, 2023 just three weeks shy of her 100th birthday. Memorial Services celebrating Lucille’s life will be held at 1:00 p.m. Friday, August 11, at the First Presbyterian Church in Redwood Falls. Visitation will be held one hour prior to the service at the church. Memorial donations may be made to the First Presbyterian Church, 235 E. Fourth St., Redwood Falls, MN 56283; the Redwood Falls Public Library, 509 So. Lincoln St., Redwood Falls, MN 56283; or a charity of your choice. Online condolences may be sent at www.stephensfuneralservice.com. Stephens Funeral Service – Redwood Valley Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements.
Lucille Elaine Johnson Byram was born on August 12, 1923, in Grygla, MN, to George A. and Esther Leverson Johnson. Lucille often spoke of her idyllic childhood surrounded by her parents, her brothers Norris, Kenneth, and George, as well as a close-knit extended family and countless friends. It was this solid foundation that sent Lucille out into the world with an interest in others, a thirst for learning, a sense of adventure, a desire to serve, and an optimistic, inclusive zest for life!
Lucille graduated from Crookston High School in 1941 and earned a BS degree in Home Economics from the University of Minnesota in June 1945. She married Paul R. (Pat) Byram on August 9, 1945. They settled in Redwood Falls soon afterward, where they raised their five children: Bruce, Robert, Susan, Kevin, and Timothy. While the children were always her number one priority, early on she found time to immerse herself in study club and bridge club in addition to serving in various capacities in the First Presbyterian Church. With only three high school age children at home, Lucille entered the fulltime workforce as a teacher in Franklin in 1968, where she taught for nearly 25 years; not only did she teach Home Economics but also science and English when duty called. She was particularly proud that her students, gals and guys, learned to make down vests, grill steaks and vegetables, and be savvy consumers! Long after she retired, she kept in close contact with teacher friends and past students.
As a young couple, Lucille and Pat found dear friends in their Couples Club, which formed in 1948; they met monthly for good food, good conversation, and good fun. Lucille was the last living member of that group of ten couples that became “family” for one another over their 70+ years of friendship. After Pat’s passing in 1998, Lucille found dear friends in her Home Economics Club as well as with her quilting companions, who even ventured to Green Lake Bible Camp so that they could sew day and night and benefit from each other’s creativity. In addition, Lucille was a voracious reader, often belonging to multiple book clubs. Although a longtime resident of Redwood Falls, Lucille resided at Waverly Gardens Care Center in North Oaks, MN, from March 2021 until her death.
To Lucille, what mattered most was family! As a daughter, sister, mom, grandmother, and great grandmother she absorbed and passed on critical building blocks for a successful life. To their children, Lucille and Pat succeeded in providing a home filled with love; they taught the value of hard work and perseverance even when life becomes difficult; they developed a sense of responsibility to do what is right for themselves and for others; they encouraged a curiosity to learn continuously; and they insisted on respect for others’ cultures, ideas, and opinions. As the matriarch of her family, she was teacher, healer, counselor, referee, judge, tour director, cook, maid, driver, and biggest fan!
Lucille is survived by her brother George; five children: Bruce, Robert (Mary), Susan (Greg) Berg, Kevin, and Tim (Debbie); eleven grandchildren; and eighteen great grandchildren. She is preceded in death by her parents; brothers Norris and Kenneth; and daughter-in-law Katheryn (Bruce).