Frederick Byrnes, a lifelong resident of Needham, a Korean War Veteran, and a member of Needham High School class of 1950, passed away on January 22, 2011 at Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital in Boston. He was 78.
Fred was the loving companion of Sandra Thorndyke for more than 30 years. A Master Craftsman, he was a true artist in woodworking and other crafts of the trade. Fred was a devoted animal lover, especially to his faithful golden retrievers, Winston and Rebecca. They could be seen daily walking the woods of Dover, and numerous fellow dog lovers benefited from meeting them on the trails.
Fred was a longtime member of the local theater company Wig and Whiskers, where he was known for his portrayal of many leads, including his favorite, Elwood P. Dowd in "Harvey". Fred was also a gifted baritone, and his robust and moving serenades of musicals and show tunes will be a fond memory for his loved ones. He was well known for being strong willed and reserved, a true New Englander. He was his own man.
Son of the late Alfred and Dorothy Byrnes, he is survived by Sandra Thorndyke and his siblings, Dorothy Fulton, Alfred, Edward, and
Richard Byrnes. Fred is also survived by his children from a previous marriage, James Byrnes and Wendy McCarthy, and the late
Debra Holden, Robin Kegley, and Steven Byrnes. He also leaves behind the children of Sandra Thorndyke, Deborah Hauptman and Wendy Perera, several grandchildren and a great-granddaughter.
Visiting hours will be held in the Eaton Funeral Home 1351 Highland Avenue Needham on Friday, January 28 from 5-8 PM followed by Words of Remembrance at 8 PM. Relatives and friends are kindly invited to attend.
In lieu of flowers, memorials in Fred's name may be made to the Yankee Golden Retriever Rescue, Inc. PO Box 808, Hudson, MA 01749-0808.
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