Louise Byrne Kyrias passed away unexpectedly in her home in Glen Ellyn, Illinois on June 4, 2021. A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. on Saturday, June 19, 2021 at First Congregational Church of Glen Ellyn.
Louise was born on September 4, 1948 in Danville, Illinois. She attended Orrington Elementary and Haven Middle School, graduating from Evanston Township High School as a National Merit Scholar. In high school, she had a short career as a catalog model and may be remembered by some as “The Bod” - the blonde bombshell that stepped out of the locker in the ETHS talent show YAMO. She was a counselor at the Evanston YMCA Camp Echo and had many fond memories of her time in Upper Michigan. Louise attended Vassar College, and married her fellow ETHS graduate Rick Hoel in 1968. She completed her degree in Psychology at the University of Illinois, Circle Campus, where her late father, Archibald Byrne, taught.
Rick and Louise lived as young parents in Hamilton, New York, Chicago, and Tucson, Arizona. Louise began her career in Human Resources working for Anaconda Copper in Tucson and then transferred to ARCO in Denver, Colorado.
As a young working mother, Louise progressed rapidly in her career as a Human Resources director with ARCO in Denver, moving first to Los Angeles to work at ARCO headquarters, and then on to Anchorage, Alaska. Based in Anchorage, Louise worked at the Prudhoe Bay oil field where she met Mike Kyrias, also a senior executive with ARCO. Louise and Mike were married in 1988. They shared a mutual passion for good food, travel and sailing. Louise was generous with her time and energy, volunteering for Special Olympics in Los Angeles, serving as a board member for her local public radio stations and raising funds for the Anchorage Museum. Following Louise’s retirement after a successful and notable career with ARCO, Mike and Louise lived in Kuala Lumpur, Sydney and Cairo where Mike managed the development of oil fields in Malaysia, Australia, Thailand and Egypt.
In 2006, Mike and Louise moved to Vail, Colorado where they planned an active retirement focused on family, the beauty of mountain life and downhill skiing. Louise and Mike enjoyed being back in the U.S. and being able to spend more time with family until Mike’s untimely passing in 2007.
In the past years, Louise lived in Washington state near her sisters Mary and Ellen and most recently, in Glen Ellyn, spending priceless time with her daughter Jenifer, son-in-law Bryan and grandchildren Emma, Jack, and Kate.
Louise is fondly remembered by family and friends as a woman of great gifts, including beauty and intelligence. She was a generous, loving and loyal mother and grandmother. She was a scholar, successful business woman and excellent cook. Louise enjoyed art and contemporary design, played competitive bridge and could solve almost any crossword puzzle. Louise was part of a new generation that strived to balance motherhood and career, and to break the glass ceiling in tough environments, long before the term became fashionable. She championed the equality of women in education and the workplace, and maintained a steadfast commitment to bettering the lives of the downtrodden and marginalized all of her life.
Louise is survived by her first husband Rick Hoel of Hilton Head, South Carolina and their daughter Jenifer Shaw; grandchildren Emma, Jack and Kate Shaw of Glen Ellyn, Illinois and her sisters Mary Byrne of Bellingham, Washington and Ellen Byrne of Portola Valley, California, and her nephew, Owen Byrne Chambers of Portland, Oregon.
The family asks that any donations be made to Planned Parenthood.
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