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08/11/2023 05:58 AM

Bronach Bye

Bronach died quietly on Aug. 6, at Artis Senior Living in Branford, after a long struggle with dementia. She was 80 years old.

Bronach was a native of Belfast, Northern Ireland, the third child of James and Mary May. She was educated at St. Dominics High School for Girls and Belfast’s Mater Hospital School of Nursing. She graduated as an RN in 1965. Her first marriage was to Michael Lambe, Maryland. They emigrated to the USA in 1965, and she became a U.S. citizen. She settled in Middletown, where Michael joined his brother in private practice. The marriage ended in divorce, and Bronach raised her three children as a single mother, working full-time as an RN, principally at the medical offices at Trinity College Hartford and Long Lane Reform School, Middletown, as well as an agency RN at various nursing homes.

She married Geoffrey Bye in 1994 and moved to Guilford in 1996. After retiring from nursing, Bronach became a dedicated and caring volunteer. She was for many years a board member and Student Affairs chair for Guilford’s A Better Chance program. She then was a volunteer and one-time manager of the Hole in the Wall thrift shop, which supports ABC. She subsequently volunteered at Sarah’s thrift shop in Branford until dementia began to make it impossible. Along the way, she also volunteered as an RN for several pop-up free dental clinics in the State and at a women’s health clinic in New Haven. She was a strong advocate for the rights of minorities and women, and all those less fortunate. She was an indefatigable letter writer for Amnesty International. She enjoyed telling the story of two great-aunts who were active soldiers in the 1916 Irish rebellion and are commemorated in a huge mural in Belfast.

Always active, she was proud to have represented her school in field hockey and loved walking and hiking. With a companion, she became a “Giant Master,” hiking all 32 miles of the trails on Sleeping Giant Mountain in Hamden over the course of a few weeks. She loved to dance. A 1,000-piece jig-saw puzzle was no contest. Her garden on Broad Street was a special place for her, and she spent many hours caring for it. The results are apparent today.

Bronach is survived by her husband Geoffrey; her children, Aidan, Ethna, and David, and their spouses; and grandchildren, Macie, Brae, and Declan. She is also survived by four stepchildren, eleven step-grandchildren, and five step-great-granddaughters, and also by her five siblings in Northern Ireland.

She was well cared for herself by the devoted staff at Artis Senior Living and by the hospice nurses from Compassus, who took care of her comfort at the end of her life.

Her decision to be a nurse was an indication of her caring nature, which she maintained throughout her life. She affected many lives. She will be greatly missed.

There will be a memorial service at 1 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 26, at Guilford Funeral Home, Church Street, Guilford. Information on a gathering after the service can be obtained by calling Ethna Lamontagne at 860-301-1253. Donations in her memory to A Better Chance, PO Box 140, Guilford CT 06437; To share a memory or leave condolences, visit