Kathleen  Byrnes


Kathleen Byrnes, known to her close friends as "Judy," died Saturday, August 24, 2019. Born in Lepton, West Yorkshire, England, Judy was the daughter of the late George and Nellie Cotterill.
At the age of 18, she joined the British Navy's Voluntary Aid Detachment (VAD) providing first-aid and medical assistance during WWII. Judy met her husband, Grant Byrnes, who was a pilot in the Royal Canadian Airforce during a bombing raid in London. They married in Yorkshire in 1946.
Judy came to Canada as a "war bride," to start a family with Grant. She worked at the Royal Admiralty in Toronto while Grant attended the University of Toronto. In 1956 they embarked on a series of moves for Grant's work to Niagara Falls, Ontario, Niagara Falls, New York, Logan, Ohio and returning in 1962 to Niagara Falls, NY, where they lived for the rest of their lives.
Wherever Judy lived, she found ways to help the community, especially through the Episcopal church. She ran blood drives, strawberry festivals and was an avid supporter of the local foodbank. In the mid-1970s, she was approached by the Niagara Council on Churches to help establish and run a drop-in center for the elderly at the First Baptist Church. Realizing many elderly people were hungry and needed social services, the program evolved into the Nutritional Program for the Elderly which still runs today. After 20 years of service Judy retired as Director of the First Baptist program.
Judy and Grant were members of the Youngstown Yacht Club and she was his first-mate on their sail boat, the Fenay Brig. When Grant joined the Executive Service Corps, a program to aid businesses in developing countries, Judy joined him on multi-month assignments in Russia and India. She was an avid gardener, loved to read, cook, entertain friends and enjoyed a competitive round of bridge. But first and foremost, Judy adored her family and many lifelong friends. She loved being home, reading a good book, sharing a cup of tea in the garden and reflecting on life, love and social issues.
Grant died in 2010. They were married 64 years. Judy is survived by her children, Elizabeth "Liz" Byrnes (Cary Africk), and Michael Byrnes (Shavonna Kelley); and her beloved granddaughters, Sara and Emily Africk.
Graveside services will take place on Wednesday morning, August 28th, at 11 AM at Oakwood Cemetery, Niagara Falls. Family and friends are invited to join. Following the service, we will celebrate Judy's life at the family home from 1-4 PM.
Memorials in Judy's honor may be sent to the Oakwood Cemetery Restoration Fund or to Mt. St. Mary's Hospital.
Arrangements by M.J. Colucci & Son Niagara Funeral Chapel; visit mjcoluccifuneralchapel.com for online condolences.
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Published on August 25, 2019
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4 posts

Sheila McDevitt
Aug 28, 2019
Your mother was a gift to the world.
Aug 26, 2019
Celestial Love was purchased for the family of Kathleen Byrnes.  Send flowers
Patti Torre
Aug 26, 2019
I am deeply saddened for your loss and know the pain you're experiencing. What a blessing to have had your Mom with you as long as you did. they are truly inspirational in our lives as we grow older as well. God bless you all,
Sophia George-Joseph
Aug 26, 2019
Blue Caribbean was purchased for the family of Kathleen Byrnes by Sophia George-Joseph.  Send flowers