Joseph Leo Byrnes

July 3, 1936November 27, 2018

Joseph L. Byrnes passed peacefully on November 27, 2018 with his family by his side. He was born July 3, 1936 in Kansas City, Kansas. His parents are the late John Matthew Byrnes, Sr. and Catherine Coakley Byrnes. Mr. Byrnes lived his early years on a farm his parents operated near Tonganoxie, Kansas. He and his siblings attended school in a one-room school house. Mr. Byrnes attended Bishop Lillis High School in Kansas City, Missouri and earned a bachelors degree at the University of Kansas City ( Now known as the University of Missouri at Kansas City ). In addition he earned a masters degree at The George Washington University, Washington, D.C. He is a graduate of the Armed Forces Staff College, Norfolk, Virginia. Mr. Byrnes served 25 years on active duty in the United States Navy, retiring in the grade of Commander. He served in a various Destroyers in the Atlantic Fleet, was the Communications Officer for Commander Cruiser Destroyer Force Atlantic Fleet, and Chief Staff Officer for Commander Destroyer Squadron Ten. Shore assignments included faculty and staff assignments at the United States Navel Academy, Annapolis, Maryland and the Armed Forces Staff College, Norfolk, Virginia. He had Navy Recruiting assignments in St. Louis, Missouri and was Commanding officer of the Navy Recruiting District, Peoria, Illinois. He was assigned to the Naval Advisory Group Vietnam and served as an advisor at the Vietnamese Navy Headquarters in Saigon. Following his active duty in the Navy Mr. Byrnes was employed by several private businesses in the Washington D.C. area. He eventually began a second career in the field of Emergency Management and was employed by Anne Arundel County, Maryland. He was appointed Director of emergency Management for Anne Arundel County by the Governor of Maryland. While employed in Emergency Management Mr. Byrnes was designated as a Certified Emergency Manager by the International Association of Emergency Managers. He served as President of the Maryland Emergency Management Association and as President of Region III of the International Association of Emergency Managers. For approximately 10 years Mr. Byrnes was an adjunct instructor/Trainer for the Maryland Fire and Rescue Institute of the University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland. In 2012 Mr. Byrnes and his wife relocated from their home in Annapolis, Maryland to Decatur, Alabama in order to be close to their daughter, son-In-law and grandsons. Mr. Byrnes was preceded in death by his parents, his brother, John M. Byrnes,Jr., his sister, Rose Ann Byrnes Henke and Mary Catherine Byrnes McGlynn. He is survived by his wife of 54 years, Veronica Lonergan Byrnes; his daughter, Maureen Byrnes Palahach; son-in-law, Brandon Palahach; and two grandsons, Carson Palahach and Cameron Palahach all of Decatur, Alabama. Also surviving is his sister, Marguerite Byrnes Brennan of Overland park, Kansas; and numerous loving nieces and nephews and cousins. Mr. Byrnes was of the Roman Catholic faith and was a member of the Knights of Columbus. He was also a member of the Fleet Reserve Association, the Military Officers Association of America, Burningtree Country Club Decatur, Alabama and the Naval Academy Club Annapolis, Maryland. His intrests included reading history and literature, and music. Prior to their move to Decatur he and his wife were members of the traditional choir at St. Mary’s Church, Annapolis, Maryland for over 30 years. He was a volunteer at Decatur Morgan Hospital in Decatur. He enjoyed being with his grandsons and took keen intrest in their sports teams. Visitation with the family will be Friday December 14, 2018 from 6:00pm until 8:00 pm at John M. Taylor Funeral Home. Annapolis, MD. Mass of Christian Burial will be Saturday December 15, 2018 at 9:00 am at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Annapolis, MD. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the American Heart Association or Decatur Morgan Hospital Foundation.


  • Memorial Visitation Friday, December 14, 2018
  • Mass of Christian Burial Saturday, December 15, 2018

Joseph Leo Byrnes

have a memory or condolence to add?

Mrs Lauderdale

December 6, 2018

Jehovah God said that there is going to be a ressurection of both the righteous and the unrighteous at john5:28,29

Steve Brennan

November 30, 2018

Uncle Joe was a hero to me. I was always so proud of his naval accomplishments; but also just his wonderful sense of humor. I loved his visits to Kansas City and he will be very missed. Love to you, Lonnie...Steve and Marianne