James H. Byrnes was born on September 8, 1913 in Rye, NY to Edward and Mary (Kerrigan) Byrnes. He had five brothers George, Edward, Walter , Jack and Thomas and two sisters Jane, Georgina and Helen. In Rye his family lived at 546 Milton Road and were members of the Church of the Resurrection. James was raised and educated in Rye.
Jim married Ruth Barry on November 4, 1941 in St. Gabriel's Church with whom he spent 61 loving years. They would have three children.
Jim enlisted and served in the U.S. Army during World War II. Corp James Byrnes was with the 2nd Battalion, Headquarters Company, 75th Infantry Division and was in action in the Ardennes during the Battle of the Bulge.
The 75th Infantry Division arrived in Britain, 22 November 1944; headquarters having arrived on 2 November 1944. After a brief training program, the division landed at Le Havre and Rouen, 13 December, and bivouacked at Yvetot on the 14th.
When the Von Rundstedt offensive broke in the Ardennes, the 75th was rushed to the front and entered defensive combat, 23 December 1944, alongside the Ourthe River, advanced to the Aisne River, and entered Grandmenil, 5 January 1945.
The division relieved the 82d Airborne Division along the Salm River, 8 January, and strengthened its defensive positions until 17 January when it attacked, taking Vielsalm and other towns in the area.
Jim was awarded the Bronze Star for bravery during this time.
After the war Jim worked for Finast Stores where he spent his entire career. He lived in New Rochelle, NY for more than 65 years and was a communicant of St. Gabriel's Church. Jim was delighted in spending time with his family especially his many grandchildren and one great grandchild.
James H. Byrnes died peacefully on Sunday, May 27, 2007 at the age of 93.
At the time of his death, Jim was survived by three children, Janice Droner, Steve and his wife, Katy and Dot Bollbach and her husband, Bob. He is also survived by 11 grandchildren, Dorothy and her husband, Jeff, Kerry, Christine, Megyn, Katy, Melissa, Chris, Steve, Jamie, Brian and Caitlin, and one great grandchild, Evan.
He was predeceased by his wife, Ruthie to whom he was selflessly dedicated and devoted during her long battle with Alzheimer's disease. He was also predeceased by his brothers, Tom, Jack, Walt, Ed and George and his sisters, Jane, Helen and Georgiana.
A funeral mass was celebrated at St. Gabriel's Church in New Rochelle and Interment will followed at Beechwood Cemetery.