Richard J. “Dick” Byrne
On Wednesday, September 23, 2020 Richard John “Dick” Byrne moved on to eternal life with Jesus, his Savior.
Born December 1, 1938 in Baltimore, Md. he was the son of the late Michael DeSales Byrne and Nellie Theresa Swift Byrne.
He was proud of his Irish heritage, his paternal grandparents having immigrated from Kilmacoo in County Wicklow to Midland, Md. where his grandfather worked in the coal mines.
After attending Catholic schools in Baltimore he enlisted in the U.S. Navy where he was an assault boat coxswain in the amphibious forces. While serving with the 6th Fleet in the Mediterranean he was part of “Operation Blue Bat” where he landed U. S. Marines in Lebanon to put down a rebellion in 1958. After his honorable discharge from the Navy, he worked for the City of Baltimore, Department of Finance and went to college at night under the GI Bill. After his retirement from the City, he worked as a travel agent and enjoyed the benefits of traveling to many places throughout Europe and the United States with his loving wife Georgia Lou Meile Byrne whom he married in 1992.
He was an avid fan of the Baltimore Orioles and was fortunate to have attended their first American League home game in 1954 as well as World Series games in 1966, ’69, ’70 and ’71. He loved hiking and camping and was a Scout Leader for 20 years. During that time he also served on the Baltimore Area Council Camping Committee and the Catholic Committee on Scouting. On three occasions he led a contingent of scouts to the Philmont High Adventure Base in Cimarron, New Mexico. He took annual canoe trips with the Scouts outfitting from the Lil & Aaron Straus Wilderness Area near Little Orleans, Md. which led to a love for the Eastern Panhandle and especially Berkeley Springs where he and Lou eventually relocated in 1998. He was a “Life Member” of the VFW and transferred his membership to Risinger-Stotler VFW Post No. 4019 upon relocating to the area.
He was a faithful communicant at St. Vincent de Paul Church where he served as Bookkeeper, Usher, Lector, and a Catechist for the RCIA. He also served on the board of directors for Morgan County Interfaith Emergency Care (MCIEC) and had been a volunteer at Starting Points Community Kitchen. He was a 4th Degree member of the Knights of Columbus and held several offices including Grand Knight and 4th Degree Faithful Navigator. He also served on the WV State K of C Council as a District Deputy and was instrumental in the formation of a new council at Fort Ashby, W.Va. which earned him the distinction of being named WV District Deputy of the year.
In addition to his wife, Georgia Lou at home; he is survived by one sister, Rose Marie Ireland of Pasadena, Md.,; three stepsons, Dennis Lewis of Martinsburg, Joseph Lewis of Pasadena, Md. and Michael Lewis of Brooklyn Park, Md. He is also survived by ten grandchildren, six great grandchildren and many nephews and nieces. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by two sons, Richard, Jr and Daniel C. Byrne; one sister, Theresa M. Scott and four brothers, James M., Thomas J., Michael D. Jr., and E. Paul Byrne.
Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 11 a.m. on Saturday, October 3, 2020 at St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church, 67 Liberty Street, Berkeley Springs, W.Va., with Father Mikee Lecias as celebrant. Burial with graveside military honors provided by the Tri-State Honor Guard will be in St. Peter’s Catholic Church Cemetery in Hancock, Md.
The family will receive friends from 2-4 & 6-8 p.m. on Friday at Helsley-Johnson Funeral Home & Cremation Center, 95 Union Street, Berkeley Springs, W.Va. where the Rosary will be recited at 7 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in Dick’s memory to St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church Building Fund, PO Box 634, Berkeley Springs, WV 25411.
Online condolences may be expressed at www.helsleyjohnsonfh.com.