Obituary of Mary Jane Byrne
Mary Jane Byrne, a classy, vibrant woman of quality passed peacefully from long-standing severe lung disease and pneumonia on Saturday, May 2, 2020.
She was an example of a woman of character, integrity, and dignity to numerous others.
Mary Jane was born in New York City on August 15, 1939 to the late James and Martha Faherty. Mary Jane spent her early years in Tampa, Florida, where she graduated with honors from high school and was captain of the debate team. When she was young, her family traveled to Ringwood, NJ during the summers.
Mary Jane earned a full scholarship to the College of Mount St. Vincent in Riverdale, New York, where she graduated in the top 25 of her class.
Mary Jane loved traveling and was always curious, always interested in different cultures and people. She had been to every continent except Anarctica. She just loved having fun. She loved and lived life fully. She traveled the world with her first husband, Peter C. Smith, who was tragically killed in an aircraft accident in Los Angeles in 1968.
Mary Jane and Pete had four children: Dr. Peter and Josephine Smith, of Reading, Pa., Cara and Charles Schefer, of Fairfax, Va., Hilary Smith and her husband David Cantor, of Los Angeles, and Cynthia and Sean Carey, of Ringwood, NJ.
A second marriage to Raymond C. Green Jr. (deceased) ended in divorce. They had a son together, Raymond Charles Green III, and his wife Suzanne, of St. Petersburg, FL.
After her first husband’s death, Mary Jane raised her family in Wayne, NJ.
Mary Jane is survived by her husband, Michael F. Byrne Jr., her children, and 12 grandsons and one granddaughter, and a great-granddaughter.
The grandchildren are: Dr. Peter E. and Robin Smith, who have a daughter, Chloe, 1; James and Sydney Smith; Ellie and Dan Law; Timothy Smith; Joseph, Thomas and John Schefer; Nicholas, Spencer, Walker and Benjamin Carey; and Ethan and Peter Zylman.
Mary Jane was the only girl among three brothers. Her older brother Dr. James Faherty Jr. died in October, 2016. His widow, Teresa Faherty, Esq., lives in Stony Point, NY.
Brother Peter and Joyce Faherty live in The Villages in Florida, and brother Frederick and Marilyn Faherty live in Acton, Massachusetts. There are five nephews all told.
Mary Jane and Michael had a wonderful eight-year courtship and marriage. They traveled to Israel, Ireland and Cabo San Lucas. They took road trips from Key West, Fla., to Quebec City, Canada. They also took a cruise up to Boston, Portland, Me., and Canada, including Nova Scotia. There were numerous shorter trips.
Mary Jane spoke her mind in a forthright and loving way and touched and helped many people. She had many friends, some lifelong, and enjoyed her career at Mottahedeh, which deals in high-end dinnerware in Manhattan. She even received a thoughtful gift from a grateful Anna Wintour, whom she once helped.
Mary Jane loved art and design and items of beauty. She loved going with friends to the Metropolitan Museum in Manhattan to see the latest exhibits.
Her late mother, Martha Shelley, was related to Percy Bysshe Shelley, the heralded 19th Century British poet, whose wife, Mary, penned the short novel, Frankenstein.
Mary Jane was a long-time member of St. Mary’s Church, 17 Pompton Ave.,Pompton Lakes, NJ 07442. In more recent years she attended Mass in Pompton Plains, where she lived with Michael, at Our Lady of Good Counsel, 155 West Parkway, Pompton Plains, NJ 07444.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to either Church, or to one of her favorite charities, St. Jude’s Children Hospital, 262 Danny Thomas Place. Memphis, TN 38105.
A funeral Mass is now scheduled for 10 a.m. Saturday, August 15, 2020. Burial of ashes will follow the Mass at Maryrest Cemetery, Mahwah.
Visitation will be from 4-8 pm Friday, August 14, 2020 at the funeral home. We are currently limited to 37 visitors at a time, so please dress accordingly; you may be asked to wait in line outside the funeral home to accomodate that limitation.
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