April 3, 1921 – September 8, 2011
After a long and blessed life, William Austin Byrnes passed away peacefully at home at the Waverly in Chilliwack, B.C., with his loving family by his side. He is survived by his wife, Joan Byrnes, his ten children: Elaine (Frank) Kinnaird, Joanne Sexsmith, Judy (Duncan) Anderson, Patricia Byrnes, Colleen (John) Byrnes-Bishop, Sheila Peel, Bev (Terry) Berg, Jim Byrnes, Cathy (Danny) Johnson, Janie (Gary) Meeres, 28 grandchildren, 17 great-grandchildren and his sister Marguerite Schneider.
Austin spent his childhood years in Kerrobert, Saskatchewan, enjoying the adventures of prairie farm life. A proud era in Austin’s life was his four years of service in the Royal Canadian Air Force during the second World War. He remembered with fondness the comradery, and the sadness of lives lost, many of whom were good friends.The most important event in Austin’s life was meeting and marrying the love of his life, Joan Eileen Dunn. They have to date celebrated 66 years of marriage. Together they raised their ten children with love and taught by example the strength and importance of family .
Austin was a proud pioneer in helping to bring A.A. to British Columbia in 1960. We can only imagine, through the ripple effect, the countless lives he has touched. He is believed to be the first and only person in B.C , to date, to take a 50 year A.A. Cake. Throughout Austin’s life he worked as a milkman, dairy farmer and salesman up until his retirement in 1985. Austin enjoyed golf, curling, bridge, crib, casino trips and travelling in his 26 years of retirement.
Austin was never happier than when he was with his family, enjoying simple walks and visits or celebrating much anticipated special family celebrations, such as the annual Christmas Party and most recently being honored at his 90th Birthday at the Coast Hotel. He will be remembered as a kind and loving man who lived his life by the Serenity Prayer. He could always be counted on to make us laugh not only in good times but to find humor in our challenging times. Austin will be deeply missed . His legacy of love will live on in our hearts forever .
The family wishes to express their deep gratitude for the exceptional care and friendship Austin received while residing at the Waverly Seniors Village. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the charity of your choice.
Prayers and viewing for family and friends will be held on Tuesday Sept. 13th at 6:00 P.M ( changed from 7:00 P.M. ) at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, 8909 Mary Street. A celebration of Austin’s life WIll take place on Wednesday Sept. 14, 2011 at 12:00 noon at St. Mary’s Catholic Church. Burial to follow at The Little Mountain Legion Cemetary. Luncheon at the St. Mary’s Hall. Pallbearers are eight of Austin’s grandsons…Chris Connal, Jamie Berg, Kyle Meeres, Darren Kinnaird, John Anderson, Chris Elkey, Robert Johnson, Patrick Berg.
Online condolences can be left at www.hendersonsfunerals.com