Mary Byrne Gates died peacefully June 2, 2006 at UNC Hospital after a courageous battle with cancer. Mary is survived by her two sons, William Kent Gates and Matthew Byrne Gates, and seven brothers and sisters: Chris Byrne and his wife Jackie, Russell Byrne and his wife Ellen, John Byrne and his wife Manuela, Elizabeth Byrne, Bryan Byrne, Kerry Byrne, and Anne Talley and her husband Dan. She is also survived by the following nieces and nephews: Jennifer Byrne, Will Byrne, Neala Byrne, Patrick Byrne, Francisco Byrne, Marianna Byrne, V Talley, Joe Talley, Galen Stetsyuk, Karina Stetsyuk, Shannon Taylor, Brad Hicks, Drew Gates, Andrea Gates, and Emily Gates, all of whom she loved dearly. She was predeceased by her former husband of eight years, Harold Kent Gates.
Mary was born January 14, 1957 in Richmond, VA, the daughter of Elizabeth Lafferty Byrne and Joseph Thomas Byrne, who predeceased her. She grew up in Richmond, went to Marymount High School, Emerson College in Boston, and then relocated to Chapel Hill to complete her studies at the University of North Carolina. She then spent over 25 years at PHE, Inc. as the Manager of New Business Development. After her successful career at PHE, she became the Facilitator of Lay Ministry at St. Thomas More Catholic Church.
Mary was deeply devoted to her family, especially her two sons of whom she was so proud, as well as numerous friends and colleagues. Mary was very generous, giving freely to family, friends and her community. She was actively involved in the Inter-faith Council and the AIDS Care House. She also did fundraising for the National Organization of Rare Diseases NORD and research for Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma at the University of Virginia.
Mary had a great zest for life and a great sense of humor. She loved to travel, ride horses, going to the races, concerts, but especially enjoyed family gatherings at her home and evenings with the friends at the neighborhood establishment fondly known as the