Byrnes passed away peacefully at home on June 7, 2014 after a short battle with cancer.
He is survived by Crystal, his wife of 55 years; daughters Crystal (Vincent) Isola of San Jose, CA, Karen (Gordon) Allarie of Edmonton, Kirsten of Inuvik, NWT, son James (Tania) of Flin Flon MB, and nine grandchildren: Morgan, Jaimie, Emma, Kari, Maya, Carlo, Kent, Christie and Sarah. His son Robbie predeceased him shortly after birth.
Byrnes was born in Windsor, ON in 1931. He attended the fountainhead of chiropractic at the Palmer School in Iowa where he received his certification as a DC. After a brief stint as a minor league professional football player near Chicago, he came to Edmonton to start the first 25 years of a thriving Chiropractic practice. The family moved to Northern California in 1979. He practiced there for 4 more years before returning to Edmonton for 6 more years prior to retiring. During his long career, he received many accolades, such as ‘Fellow in the Palmer Academy of Chiropractic’ for contributions to the growth of chiropractic education. Only one other Canadian has received this award. He also held executive positions in the Alberta Chiropractic Association.
His avocations included building and flying private planes, sailing his boat, Silva Dollar, and Airstream vacationing across Canada, USA, Mexico, even leading an Airstream expedition in Alaska. He received an award in 1973 from the Intl. Experimental Aircraft Assoc. for building and racing a biplane. He participated with Crystal for years as a soloist in the Civic Light Opera and charter member of the Grand Opera Company in Edmonton.
An avid skier, he led growth of the Edmonton Ski Club as president and wrote a ski column for The Journal. He had a passionate love of sports cars, owning at various times, 2 Rolls Royce Phantoms, Austin Healey 3000, an MG and a vintage Jaguar.
Byrnes was a fearless adventurer. He led the extended family west every summer to the beloved family compound overlooking Taylor Bay on Gabriola Island off Nanaimo. His passion for adventure, challenges and family energized everyone around him. He will be missed but the love he shared will be remembered forever.
Memorial services will be held at St. John the Evangelist Anglican Church, 11111- 57 Avenue at 11:00 AM on Saturday, June 14, 2014. Donations can be made in his name to the Alberta Aviation Museum-Edmonton.