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Joan Byrnes

Memorial Mass

12:00 pm
Saturday, February 5, 2022
St. Joseph's R.C. Church
216 Cornly Road
Lincoln Park, New Jersey, United States

Obituary of Joan Patricia Byrnes

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Joan Patricia Byrnes gained her angel wings on January 18th, 2022.  She had just celebrated her 93rd birthday on December 23, 2021.  Joan was born to Dorothy and Joseph Cravin in New York City.  She died peacefully at her home in Brick, NJ, surrounded by her loving daughters and husband. Wife of Gerald Byrnes, mother of Ellen Hylas (Bob), Susan Bolton (Kevin Reilly), and Sheila Rothschild (Alan), grandmother of Catherine Saunders (Richard), Gene Bolton (Kelsey,) John Hylas, Sarah Schramm, and Margaret Hylas (Jamie Lee), great grandmother of Brody Bolton and Arthur Saunders. 

Joan was raised in NYC where she attended Catholic Schools and learned Irish Dancing.  Joan held fast to her Catholic faith and beliefs. Known by many as feisty, she was also tender as a lamb and shepherded her loved ones through thick and thin. Always positive and willing to share and help at a moment’s notice, she taught her family the meaning of kindness and selflessness. She believed that family is the dearest blessing to hold in our hearts forever.  

Joan was talented in so many aspects of her life which was fueled by her courage, curiosity, thirst for reading and knowledge, and determination to give anything she wanted a try. She learned how to knit as she sat on the steps of her NYC apartment where she grew up until she married.  From there she moved to New Jersey and taught herself to sew, garden, quill, paint, wallpaper, build doll houses and with her newest project, quilting. However, she was most proud of raising her three daughters who learned from her how to handle tragedy and move on to become successful and independent women. She did all this while having a successful and fulfilling career before retiring from IBM.

Family time, vacations and holidays were very important to her, and she made all gatherings and celebrations memorable and special. Her grandchildren are forever thankful for the special attention she always found time to give them.  Although she instilled traditions to the family, the most important one was being together and having a few laughs and hugs in times of despair.

Joan was predeceased by her first husband, George Downey, with whom she shared three daughters and, Philip Bolton her son-in-law.  Widowed from George at 41, Joan continued to raise her daughters as a single mom.  She was blessed with love a second time and married Gerald Byrnes.  Joan and Gerry have enjoyed over 40 wonderful years of marriage together, traveling the world, hosting holidays, renovating houses, taking on new projects, but mostly enjoying each other’s company. 

A Memorial Mass will be held on Saturday, February 5, 2022, at St. Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church, 216 Comly Road, Lincoln Park, NJ 07035 at noon.  The family will receive visitors immediately following the mass at the church and urge all who attend to pay their respects at the church reception. 

In lieu of flowers, the family has suggested donations to:


The Franciscan Friars of the Atonement

In Memory of Joan Byrnes

PO Box 301

Garrison, NY  10524


St. John's Soup Kitchen

In Memory of Joan Byrnes

871 McCarter Hwy

Newark, NJ 07102



Please follow the below COVID guidelines if you plan to attend the church and memorial.

COVID – Due to the increased prevalence of COVID related to the Omicron variant, the family wishes to take all precaution necessary to protect you and others in attendance.  As such the family respectfully requests adherence to the below for the mass and following reception.

  • Please wear a high-quality mask (N95 or KN95).  These masks will be provided at the church entrance if you do not have one.
  • Please remove your mask at the family gathering only while eating or drinking.  Please do not remove your mask to eat or drink if you have not been fully vaccinated and boosted.
  • For those who which to refrain from removing a mask to eat in a general setting, there will be an area to eat outside, or an adjacent room made available.
  • Rapid Covid tests will be available as well.



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