Robert J. Byrne

December 25, 1934July 16, 2013
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BYRNE, Robert J., 78, of Martha’s Vineyard, and formerly of Walpole and Cambridge, passed away Tuesday, July 16, surrounded by his family. Born in Boston on December 25, 1934, he was the son of the late James Byrne and Mildred (Brennan). He graduated from St. Mary High School and Boston College. An avid Red Sox fan, he was a systems analyst for NStar, formerly Boston Edison, for over 40 years until his retirement in 1995. He was the loving father of Donna and her husband Frank Whitehead of Plainville, Katherine and her husband, Anthony Cordray of West Tisbury, Lynda and her husband Richard Hinkson, Jr. of Norwood, and Mary Byrne and her husband Mark Hinderlie of Somerville; the dear brother of Margaret and her husband Thomas Fitzgerald of Reading, the late Elizabeth, James, Edward, Thomas, and Jack Byrne; the cherished grandfather of Alex, Emily, Max, Victoria, Anna and Elizabeth; the former husband of Frances (Geogheghan) Byrne of Boston, and the uncle to many nieces and nephews. Funeral services will be held on Saturday, July 20, at 8:30 AM from the Gillooly Funeral Home, 126 Walpole Street (Rte. 1A), Norwood, followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at 10:00 AM in St. Theresa of Avila Parish, 10 St. Theresa Ave., West Roxbury. Burial will be private. Relatives and friends are invited and may call on Friday, July 19, from 4:00-8:00 PM at the funeral home. Memorial contributions may be made in Robert’s memory to the Alzheimer’s Association, Massachusetts/New Hampshire, 480 Pleasant Street, Watertown, MA 02472 or at


Robert J. Byrne

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Mary Naughton

August 13, 2013

You were opinionated, obstinate, intelligent, warm-hearted, and lots of fun. I was so fortunate to spend eight years with you, and to know you for more than twenty. Over that time, I learned to pay attention to your actions and not to your rhetoric. During your “post-retirement” job at the Black Dog Bakery, I was initially surprised at your exasperation with management for posting new employment rules solely in English, when half the workforce spoke Portuguese only. You took it on yourself to explain the rules to the Cape Verdean worker with the best English fluency, so that he and his compatriots could avoid unwanted “surprises”. You were far from a bleeding heart Cambridge liberal, but you had a very big heart. And you treated everyone alike, regardless of their station.
I had always voted to support my candidate, but when we lived together, I cast a ballot to also cancel your vote. I knew I wasn't furthering support for my side, but was satisfied that at least I was blocking support for yours. We understood this and eventually I laughed about it. I also laughed when, in my absence, you told a telephone representative from NOW that I was deceased. After you recanted your assertion, you apparently had her laughing and brightened her night. That was Bob…
Thank you for letting me contribute 1960's song titles to your New York Times crossword puzzles and for occasionally asking me to assist with spelling. Aside from that, you had those puzzles down. Thanks for learning to love my cats and for retrieving, on your hands and knees, their toys from underneath the kitchen stove. Thank you so much for introducing me to your daughters and for letting me be part of your family. I am so fortunate to have known you, and to know them, their husbands, and your grandchildren. Thank you for enjoying life (when you weren't complaining about it!) and for loving me. You will always be in my heart.

Susan Davis

July 25, 2013

Dear Lyn,
It's been a long time. sorry for your loss. I lost my dad a few years back. Prayers and thoughts are with you. Your long time co-worker at Franks. Sue

Robert Leclair

July 24, 2013

Donna...It is always sad to lose someone you love. I never knew your Dad and I am sorry that I could not do anything to share your grief. However, I will have a Mass said in Bob's memory at St Mary's of Wrentham.

Janice Maciejewicz

July 22, 2013

I am having wonderful memories of the time I went over the Vineyard for a day trip with my husband and we met up with Bob. Such a great day it was! I will hold those nice memories in my heart and hope my sharing these with you will help in the coming days.


July 21, 2013

I will miss you Grampy. Your love and hugs will be with me forever.

Kathy Ladanyi

July 21, 2013

Dear Donna, Katherine, Lynda, and Mary and Families:
I am so sad to hear of your loss of your loving dad. He was so proud of you all and always talked about you. I think of Bob B. often and will always be grateful to him for his honesty and his willingness to share his hope, strength, and experience with so many of us. He was a very special man and he touched so many lives. I will never forget him. My prayers are with you.

James McCluskey

July 20, 2013

Bob, knowing you rest now brings peace,
knowing you stood firmly in your faith and rest now in God's good grace
Brings hope. Brings hope that you will be raised up 'on the last day' -
that you will be with the loving God, your Higher Power, you sought
so faithfully to know and to serve.

I will remember you as a loving father to your beautiful daughters, a great friend to so many and father figure to me along with Bob W., Phill, and
Peter at a time in my life when that was just what I needed. And I will remember so many laughs! 'Seedy Acres' and Bob spelled with two 'O's, and
a trip to Ireland. And long talks about religion and God and faith and
love and Program. You lived a life filled with faithfulness and loyalty.
Faithful written all over it from beginning to end. Good bye my friend,
and bless you.

Jen Jack Julia Byrne

July 20, 2013

To his beloved four girls, our thoughts and prayers are with you and your families.

July 20, 2013

Donna, Katherine, Lynda and Mary,

Despite the years that have passed since I left Cambridge, I remember your Dad, and all of you, clearly and so fondly. Bob was always there for so many people in such caring ways.... I still remember his kindness, and yours, as he took me to the hospital when I sprained my ankle. I tear up remembering how hard we all laughed, and am so sad to hear he has died. While distance may separate us in one sense, in my heart I am holding you close, and tucking you all dearly into my prayers. I send loving thoughts and heartfelt sympathy,

Denise Stoner
Evergreen, Colorado

Catherine G

July 19, 2013

He brought us joy and laughter and wisdom and such humor and humanity. I will always remember him with a smile and a very grateful heart.