NATICK – Marita J. (O’Daniel) Byrne, 77, orn April 6, 1944, originally of Shively, Kentucky, resident of Natick for 48 years, passed away on December 7, 2021, at home with her family.
Marita leaves behind her beloved husband of 52 years, Frank Byrne; daughters Bridget Byrne of Littleton and Maura Westlake of Natick and her husband Benjamin. Parents (deceased) William S. O’Daniel and Regina (Greenwell) O’Daniel of Kentucky. Granddaughters Ella Byrne-Cabot and Tessa and Emilia Westlake, to whom she passed on her love of books and reading.
loved to share stories about growing up with her siblings: Michael O’Daniel of California, Tricia Parrish of Oregon, Paul O’Daniel of Kentucky, and Barbara O’Daniel-Munger of Kentucky. Aunt to nieces and nephews across the US. A special place in her heart for Marianne Le Bigot and her family.
After graduating from Our Lady of Cincinnati, Marita taught kindergarten in central Cleveland in the 1960s, where she met her husband, Frank. The couple moved to Massachusetts to pursue their love of teaching.
A lifelong speaker of foreign languages, Marita taught French in the Holliston schools and welcomed numerous exchange students from around the world into her home. Marita enjoyed speaking French, German, Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese with friends and strangers (that would become friends), both in the US and on her many travels with her husband.
Her home was welcome to all during the holidays and she had a flair for hosting inventive parties, such as the annual Flamingo Fling, which celebrated the beginning of summer and the
flowering of her beautiful gardens.
Marita was a supporter of many wildlife and preservation charities and a fan of the offbeat, such as the Museum of Bad Art. Her love of her neighborhood can be seen in her winning photograph “For the Birds”, which will appear in Natick’s 2023 Oldtown Calendar.
For many years she was a green smock at the Wellesley Clothing Exchange, a true thrifter before thrifting became trendy.
A proponent of providing well cared for books to the public, she worked in book preservation at the Wellesley Free Library for 25 years, retiring only recently due to her illness.
Marita was known for her devotion to her cat, Enzo, a rescue from the MetroWest Humane Society, where she volunteered for many years.
Visiting Hours in the John Everett & Sons Funeral Home 4 Park Street in Natick on Friday December 10 from 4 to 8 p.m.
Funeral Mass in St. Patrick Church 44 East Central Street (Route 135) in Natick on Saturday December 11 at 10 a.m. Relatives and friends are kindly invited to attend.
Interment St Patrick Cemetery Natick.
In lieu of flowers donations in memory of Marita may be made to the Amyloidosis Foundation amyloidosis.org or the charity of your choice.