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Helen Etsuko Byrne Barker

Obituary for Helen Etsuko Byrne Barker

January 22, 1950 - February 14, 2020
Castle Hills, Texas | Age 70


It is with great sadness that the family of Helen Etsuko Byrne Barker announces that she passed away suddenly after a short illness on Friday, February 14, 2020. Helen will be lovingly remembered by her husband of 14 years Bill Barker, her daughter and son-in-law Valerie and Raul Cantu, her daughter-in-law Erin Monaco, and her treasured granddaughters Emily, Katherine and Sophia, as well as siblings Michael (Katharyn), Richard (Carol) and Thomas (Mary) Byrne, and numerous nieces, nephews, and friends. She is also survived by her stepdaughter Leann Bach (Joseph) and grandson Jacob. Helen was predeceased by her son, Curtis Rodgers, and her parents, Valery (Joe) Byrne and Hisako Sakai Byrne.

Helen lived a remarkable life. Born in Japan to an American serviceman and Japanese native, she was the oldest of four children and spent her childhood in Massachusetts and Georgia. Helen had a long career as an award-winning English educator and counselor, often working with under-resourced youth. She was a devoted mother and extremely involved and caring grandmother, who cooked for everyone, never forgot a birthday gift or missed a chance to indulge her grandchildren with love, trips, and the occasional Starbucks trip for minors. She was blessed to find love and a kindred spirit in Bill, who loved her till her death.

After the passing of her mother, Hisako Byrne, Helen was the leader and matriarch of the ever-expanding Byrne family. She was a tie that bound a family spread across the country. Her sharp intellect, devotion to family, and loud (sometimes shrill) laugh, will be greatly missed.

She was born in Osaka on January 22, 1950.

In lieu of flowers, please direct donations to the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, the Sierra Club or to KLRN.

2:00 PM

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  • KLRN
    501 Broadway
    San Antonio, TX 78215

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Porter Loring Mortuary North

2102 North Loop 1604 East
San Antonio, TX 78232
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