Byrnes, William J. "Pete"
William J. "Pete" Byrnes of Binghamton, died Sunday morning, May 11, 2014, at the NYS Veterans' Home in Oxford. Pete was predeceased by his parents, William J. (Sr.) and Mary Martin Byrnes; his brothers, Monsignor Thomas and Edward "Tony" Byrnes; his lifelong friend, Jim Shine; and his beloved wife of 66 years, Virginia "Ginny" Byrnes. Pete is survived by his children, Dr. Teresa Ellen Byrnes, Michael Byrnes, Mary Clare Byrnes, LTC (R) USA, (Dean Wilson) and Joseph (Christine) Byrnes; and his very first and longest close friend, Walter Garvey. He is also survived by his grandchildren, Jim (Karen) Crandell, Dr. Colleen Crandell, Rebecca Crandell, Matt Byrnes, Conor and Maggie Byrnes; and his great grandchildren, Ana and Jake Crandell, and Ava and Aidan Fenkl. No less cherished to Pete than his immediate family were he and Ginny's siblings and their families, his many nieces and nephews and beloved members of the McGowan (Tom and Fran), Conlon (Jocko and Dorothy and Joe and Peggy), Feheley (Bernie and Teresa), Gallagher (Pete and Eileen), Day (Donny and Fody) and Byrnes (Tony and Evelyn) families. Pete was born on the Southside of Binghamton on December 28, 1920. He graduated from Central High School, attended St. Michael's University in Toronto and subsequently graduated from Niagara University in 1942. He entered active US Army Service as a Corporal in 1942, and during a four year tour he successfully completed Officer Candidate School and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant. He married the love of his life, Virginia Conlon, on January 5, 1944. Pete and Ginny spent a few years in Atlanta, GA with their two oldest children, but moved back home to the Southside where they spent the remainder of their long lives (less a very brief stay in Vestal). Pete had a rewarding and fulfilling career working for NYS where he served as an employment counselor and supervisor. He worked as a volunteer for several decades for the Transfiguration Monastery in Windsor where he kept up the grounds and served as a part time jack of all trades for the Benedictine Sisters over many years. In his last decade of working, Pete and Ginny spent one weekend a month at a group home in Norwich, caring for persons with disabilities. Pete was a dedicated member of St. John's (now St. John's and Andrew's) Parish for over 60 years. He was a long time member of the Ancient Order of Hibernians and a lifetime member of the Knights of Columbus. He was a member of the Nocturnal Adoration Society of St. John's Church and the Perpetual Adoration Society of St. Patrick's Church. Pete's first and greatest commitment was to the Catholic Faith which he practiced throughout each day of his long life. His spiritual life was enhanced by his great love for his wife and family. Not too far behind these were his beloved New York Yankees and his great love and pride in all things related to his Irish heritage. While in the hospital in January a doctor asked Pete what he wanted to do, and he said "I want to watch the Yankees", he got his wish. The family wishes to thank Dr. Andras Szabo of Lourdes Hospital for the many years of wonderful medical care which he provided to Pete, enabling him to remain at home with a high quality of life until his late days. We also thank the NYS Veterans' Home for welcoming Pete and caring for him during his short stay there. We are grateful to Lilah Barbera for the loving care and companionship she provided Pete during his last year and a half in this life. A Funeral Mass will be offered at the Church of Saints John and Andrew, Vestal Avenue, Binghamton Thursday at 11 a.m. Burial will be in St. Patrick's Cemetery, Johnson City at the convenience of the family. The family will receive friends at the J.A. McCormack Sons Funeral Home, 141 Main Street, Binghamton Wednesday from 4-7 p.m. In lieu of flowers, expressions of sympathy in memory of Pete may be made to the Association of the Miraculous Medal, 475 E. Chelton Ave., Philadelphia, PA 19144-5785
J.A. McCormack Sons Funeral Home
141 Main St. Binghamton, NY 13905
Published in Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin from May 13 to May 15, 2014