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Jane Foulke Leedom Byrne ’48

A picture of Jane Leedom Byrne

Jane Foulke Leedom Byrne ’48, October 6, 2014, in Cannon Beach, Oregon. A Portland native, Jane earned a BA from Reed in psychology. Her thesis, “Personality Test Results and Delinquency,” was written with Prof. Monte Griffith [psychology 1926–54]. “Reed opened horizons I would never have come in contact with, and exposed my mind to great ideas. I learned how to defend my views in argumentation in a rational, positive, and scientific manner and developed self-esteem from this. My life in general was greatly enhanced by finding a husband at Reed with a very sharp mind.” We read that when John Richard Byrne ’47 spotted Jane in commons, he reported to a friend, “That’s the girl I’m going to marry.” They did marry in 1948, and Jane went with him to the University of Washington, where Dick earned a PhD in mathematics. At the university, Jane completed a teaching certificate in primary education, and she taught school for several years. The couple lived in San Jose, California, and then returned to Portland, where Dick joined the faculty at Portland State University and taught mathematics for 37 years. Their marriage was a happy one. Jane was occupied with the work of raising their daughters, Suzanne and Diana, and volunteering with the PTA and as a girls’ club leader; she also opened a nursery school. She loved travel, including trips to Disneyland, and summer stays at Cannon Beach. When Dick retired in 1992, the couple moved to a 30-acre farm outside Corvallis, where Jane thrived, deriving a great deal of pleasure in caring for lost and homeless animals. She remained on the farm following Dick’s death in 1996. Survivors include her daughters and three grandchildren.

Appeared in Reed magazine: June 2015

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