91, passed away on January 7, 2019 surrounded by her loving family.
An extraordinary woman, she was anything but conventional. The oldest child of Annie Byrn and Bradford Earl Roberts, Anne Byrn was born in Nashville, TN because the “new” hospital in Murfreesboro would not open for another week. Attending Vanderbilt University she was a member and officer of Delta Delta Delta sorority and editor of The Hustler. Elected Homecoming Queen in 1947, she graduated in 1948 and in the fall, earned her teaching certificate from Peabody. While at Vanderbilt, she met Joseph (Jack) Houston Roberts, a Marine and veteran of World War II who fought in the Pacific at Peleliu. They married in 1949, moving to Lebanon, TN, where they owned and operated Roberts Coal Co and Roberts Builders Supply and raised their family.
Anne Byrn was as comfortable serving as homeroom mother in the classrooms of her five children as she was serving for over 20-years as the Chairman of the Planning Commission for the City of Lebanon and the Board of Trustees of Cumberland University. She served as a Girl Scout leader and Chairman of the Girl Scouts of Wilson County. She volunteered with underprivileged children’s groups in Lebanon and helped found the YMCA, ultimately serving as its board President. Named Lebanon’s Woman of the Year in 1987, she was President of the Year Round Garden Club, member of the DAR, and President of the Junior Women’s Club. Anne Byrn served as Chairman of the board of University Medical Center and McFarland Hospital. She was a member of First Baptist Church of Lebanon where she taught Vacation Bible School, Sunday School, and served on various committees.
In 2006, Anne Byrn moved to Nashville where she enjoyed membership in the Belle Meade Country Club, the Centennial Club, the Lynbrook Garden Club, and Cheekwood. Anne Byrn was passionate about service, yet her joy came from spending summers at Monteagle Sunday School Assembly with her family and lifelong friends. Seven generations of her family have spent summers at MSSA, where Anne Byrn was a long term member of the Board of Trustees, past Vice-President of the Board, and was President of the Womans Club. Her porch was always open for rousing conversation and she was perpetually prepared for an impromptu cocktail party.
Her laugh was contagious, an important trait in a family full of legendary senses of humor. She was a brilliant player of bridge, a game which best showcased her competitive spirit. Anne Byrn loved to travel the world, whether solo or with friends or family. She was fiercely independent, yet was most content surrounded by the ones she loved.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Joseph Houston Roberts, her parents, Annie and Earl Roberts, and her brother, Bradford Earl Roberts, Jr. She is survived by her children, Lucy Roberts, Anne Worthen (George), Jack Roberts (Tami), Rich Roberts (Memree) and Mary Carolyn Roberts (Matt Davis), her grandchildren, Anne Byrn Floyd (Mark), Jennie Bradford Curlee (John), Katherine Torkelsen (Leif), Jack Worthen, Mary Augusta Roberts, Margaret Roberts, Marshall Roberts (Katie), Jackson Roberts; her great-grandchildren, Mavis Blue Sartin, Carter Floyd, Miles Curlee, Annie Torkelsen, Finn Torkelsen, Jackson Floyd (Meg),Elizabeth Floyd and Alex Floyd; her brother, Jim Rich Roberts (Carty); and her sister-in-law, Linda Roberts.
A celebration of Anne Byrn’s life will take place at the Wightman Chapel on the Scarritt Bennett campus,1027 18th Ave S, on Tuesday, January 15th at 2:30. Visitation will be at Bennett Hall from 1:00 until service time.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to the Monteagle Sunday School Assembly Roberts Family Fund at P.O. Box 307 Monteagle, TN, 37356, the Anne Byrn Roberts Endowed Building & Grounds Fund at Cumberland University 1 Cumberland Square Lebanon, TN 37087, Oaklands Mansion 900 N Maney Ave. Murfreesboro, TN 37130 or Alive Hospice 1718 Patterson St. Nashville, TN 37203.