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Eleanor Byrne Edwards Merrill

Dec. 7, 1934 – Jan. 9, 2013

LAFAYETTE, La. — A memorial gathering for Eleanor Byrne Edwards Merrill, 78, who died Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2013, in Lafayette, will be from 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday at Martin and Castille Funeral Home Southside in Lafayette.

Pursuant to her wishes, there will be no formal service or burial.

Mrs. Merrill was born Dec. 7, 1934, in Natchez, the daughter of Edwin and Ilene Byrne.

Eleanor lived life with a passion for all things beautiful, especially for her artwork and that of others. An accomplished artist in several media, she won a number of awards for her work, including a piece being chosen as the poster for the International Rice Festival in Crowley, La. She loved to travel and often did so with Nolan and their children. After Nolan passed away, she moved to Longboat Key, Fla., to attend Ringling School of Art where she met her second husband, Russell, also an artist. They shared a number of years painting together around the United States and abroad.

Eleanor was preceded in death by her first husband, Nolan J. Edwards of Crowley; her second husband, Russell F. Merrill of Longboat Key; her parents; one brother, Donald Byrne and his wife, Barbara; one sister, Ilene B. Parker; one daughter-in-law, Kathleen Besh Edwards; one nephew, Michael Byrne; one niece, Eleanor Parker; and one granddaughter, Emily Alice Edwards.

Survivors include four children, E. Byrne Edwards and wife, Mary Alice, Christopher A. Edwards and wife, Laura Ann, Bridget E. Boustany and husband, Charles Jr., and Nolan G. Edwards; seven grandchildren, Erik N. Boustany and wife, Caree, Ashley B. Dugal and husband, Jacques, Sean, Sarah, Evan, Laura and Nolan John Edwards; one brother, Richard Byrne and wife, Sondra; three brothers-in-law, Peyton Parker of Baton Rouge, Marion Edwards of Broussard, La., and Edwin Edwards of Gonzales, La.; and a number of loving nieces and nephews, especially Peggy Byrne of Lafayette.

The family wishes to thank Sherry Combs, Joy Lormand and Linda Stelly, who cared so gently for her and to Judy Dupree for her assistance. Additionally, the family thanks the staff at AMG and Cornerstone Village South for their cheerful and prompt attention to her needs as well as Hospice of Acadiana who tended to her in her last hours.

The family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to your favorite charity or to Hospice of Acadiana, 2600 Johnston St., Suite 200, Lafayette, LA 70503 or the Lafayette Art Association, run by her dear friend, Sarah Parker at 1008 E. St. Mary Boulevard, Lafayette, LA 70503.