Bernard Joseph ‘Barney’ Byrne, 91, volunteered with Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center

Bernard Joseph 'Barney' Byrne
Bernard Joseph ‘Barney’ Byrne

Bernard Joseph “Barney” Byrne, 91, passed away at home Friday, April 5, 2019.

He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Marguerite “Marge”; three children, Margaret “Rose” Byrne, Elizabeth “Betty” Beaudoin and Arthur Byrne; sister, Kathleen Byrne; and two grandchildren, Judith Frontin and Kathleen Beaudoin. He was preceded in death by his parents, Nora and Bernard Byrne; as well as three siblings, Martin, Gerald and Rita Dronne.

Barney grew up on Staten Island, New York, and received the opportunity to get a higher education through Cooper Union, studying chemical engineering, followed by a master’s degree at NYU, and then an advanced degree in the newly emerging field of nuclear engineering from Oak Ridge School of Reactor Technology.

This led him to Schenectady, New York, where he met Marge through the Catholic Young Adult League. For 30 years, he worked for GE, designing naval reactors for the Nimitz and other aircraft carriers and submarines. During those years, he was a devoted father and enjoyed teaching his children to sled and to ride the waves at the beach, as well as sharing his love of words, numbers, art and music with them.

When he retired, he moved to Virginia Beach, where he enjoyed volunteering at the Virginia Aquarium as well as playing contract bridge. Together, he and Marge enjoyed continuing to learn through various travel courses on science, art, food and various locales. When they visited, he enjoyed teaching his grandchildren to love the beach and the waves. He was known to many in his neighborhoods in both New York and Virginia for his practice of walking a mile in the neighborhood three times a day. He continued to enjoy word and number puzzles as well as music when he was no longer seen about as the man who walks.

Visitation at 10 a.m. will precede a memorial Mass at 11 a.m., Friday, April 12, at Holy Spirit Catholic Church, 1396 Lynnhaven Parkway, Virginia Beach.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks for donations to the church.

Share online condolences with the family at Altmeyer Funeral Homes & Crematory.

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