I and my family send our condolences to Joe's Family.
Our cousins Ada & Patricia, Joe's Uncle Thom's daughters, of Westfield, phoned me and told me of Joe's obit. I sent a coppy of it to my brother Bill of Massachusetts and my children. My sister Ruth died some years ago. We are the children of Joe's Uncle Vincent.
Even though Joe and I were born the same year we had not seen each other for more than 70 years, I'm sure neither of us forgot the other just as I am know our cousins in Westfield did not forget us.
Again our condolences to our distant relatives on his passing, and may his sould rest in peace.
The Monks of Newark Abbey together with the Alumni, the Students, and the Faculty and Staff of Saint Benedict's Preparatory School, wish to express their sympathy to the family of the late Joseph A. Byrnes ‘46, whose name has been added to the list of our extended family for whom we pray daily in the Abbey Church at Mass and the Divine Office.
I always enjoyed seeing Joe at various fencing tournaments with all of his various gadgets hanging from his belt loops. I was lucky to be able to work with him at some tournaments and learn from his many years of experience and listen to his great stories. Joe was a generous teacher with a dry sense of humor. I will miss him.
It was with great sadness and reflection that I learned of Joe's passing. He was a stalwart of fencing in this country, and one of the few people I have known for the full arc of my nearly 40 years in the sport. He was not only a key member of the Amateur Fencers League of America, the United States Fencing Association and USA Fencing, he was a leader and a presence instrumental in the growth and evolution of fencing through each of these incarnations. Joe brought knowledge, integrity and devotion to our sport, our organization and our membership. He instructed us all, not only in the mysteries of the equipment we use, but how to engage in all aspects of our community with dignity, good humor and perspective. He led by example. He didn't demand respect, he earned it. His wry smile (and the wit that went with it), brightened many a venue and defused many tense moments on the strip. As the organization grew and changed, he both propelled us forward and steadied the course. My service as president of the USFA leaned heavily on the support of many people, Joe being one of the most steadfast and reliable. For that I owe and acknowledge deep gratitude.
I will miss Joe, as will we all. His cheerfulness, dedication, knowledge, wit and erudition enhanced our time together and our love for fencing. No one can replace him, but his memory will continue to inspire us to be better fencers, better sportsmen, and mostly, better people.
I'm sorry that I cannot join you in person, but my thoughts are with you today.
With warm regards and a heavy heart,
It was Joe who took me to the international level in armoury with his invitation to join the 1996 Olympic weapons inspection team. He'll be missed without measure by all who knew and loved him.
Joe Byrnes was always my favorite person to see at a fencing meet. It will be hard not to think of him in the fencing world because he was such a big part of fencing. I will miss the stories, t-shirts and him very much. He has gone on to fencing and armoring in the sky!
Joe fixed my weapons at NJUSFA tournaments beginning when I was in high school, introduced to the sport by NYU's NCAA champion Mike Gaylor's family. He mentored my competitive, reffing and armouring skills since then. I will miss his wry humor and openness, despite his World-class achievements.
It can be so hard to face the first year without your loved one, but the love of family and friends can carry you through.
As I read the life story of your loved one I get the sense that he was truly someone that was very active. I am sure these are just a few of his accomplishments. There are so many endeavors to pursue in life and not enough time to do them all. But whatever we do that makes a positive difference, it is worthwhile. You will surely miss him but reflect on the gift of memory. God has given us a memory to call back to mind all the wonderful moments in our life that make us happy. So at any time of the day you can reflect on happy times. How grateful you can be that God has your loved in His memory and can call him back to mind. He purposes to do so. Your family can have faith in that promise. My sincerest sympathy to all of you.
Thank you for all the fond memories over the years. You will certainly be missed by your neighbors and friends.