Copyright © 2021 Roswell Daily Record
Copyright © 2021 Roswell Daily Record
Gentle Giant from the Southeastern New Mexico whose smile and laughter was contagious! George P. Byrne, 71, died after a short battle with Cancer on Thursday, December 24, 2020. He passed calmly at home with family and friends nearby.
George was the only child of George and Charlotte Byrne of Roswell, NM. George proudly stated that he was adopted at one day old from Denver, CO, on June 11, 1949. His father was a Construction Engineer, which allowed the family to travel the world. The family traveled to Iran and Afghanistan when George was only 5 years old.
“I remember doing school in the morning and I play in the afternoon” and “my dad built a four-person Ferris wheel that was operated by hand” George was blessed to travel the world twice before the age of 10. “I remember breaking my arm on my tricycle in Socorro” and “riding a bike in Albuquerque.” He would say.
George graduated junior high school in Sulphur, OK, and graduated High school after only one year of attendance at Eastwood High School, El Paso, Tx, class of 1966. After High School, George would attend Radio and TV Broadcasting Trade School in Houston, Tx. He would meet his long-term friend and pen pal, Sally.
George attended the University of Nevada before enlisting United States Army in 1969. He would attend Basic Training at Fort Ord in California and graduated, 3rd in his class of more than 200 service men in Military Police, from Fort Gordon. During Vietnam, He was stationed in Okinawa as part of a Missile base, and then he was transferred to Fort Debussy in Hawaii. He would be discharged as E-4, working as E-6 (Shift Commander) from the U.S Army in April 1972, and returned to Roswell, NM, where his parents had finally retired.
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George would court and finally marry his best friend Sally from Houston Tx, in June 1973. George and Sally Byrne would make their home in Las Cruces, NM. There they became active in the world of CB radios as well as search and rescue. George would later graduate from New Mexico State University in Police Science. The young couple would welcome their only child Kimberly in Jan 1975.
George would be initiated into the Masons and join a larger Masonic family. George and Sally believed in strong family values and, in 1979, returned to Roswell to aid his father with the care of his mother. George’s mother had been diagnosed with Cancer in 1979. George would learn and be supported by his mother to be an active part of the community. He would be promoted to Area Director at his job with Clardy’s Dairies and with his mother’s encouragement would move to Lubbock, TX.
Sadly, his mother’s death in 1980, George and Sally would return to Roswell once again and become an active part of the community that his mother so very much loved. They would both join the Roswell Jaycees; this would change their service to Roswell forever. George would be blessed to have found a job that was suitable to his skill set in 1983 when he was hired by The State of New Mexico. He often said that he only gave himself six months when he was hired on with the State.
George and Sally were very thankful to the community that gave them a great place to live. Sadly, in 1985 George would lose his father to Cancer. This loss would change the way the world knew him. He changed his name “Pat” and his radio name “Fat Albert” to “George” and “Eavesdropper” respectively.
The family would become very active in the community due to the Roswell Jaycees, Masonic family, and various community projects. The family ran the Eastern New Mexico State Fair Parade for 26 years. George would be honored with the two highest awards for the Jaycees: The National Award of Jaycees’ Senator and the State Award of the Jaycees’ Conquistador.
He would continue to fundraise money for Jerry’s Kids tele-a-thon (MDA or muscular dystrophy), community projects, and Shriners crippled Children’s Hospital. He would become an active member of Blue Lodge, Eastern Star, and adult mentor for International Order Rainbow for Girls /DeMolay.
In 1993, George would be honored by the International Order of Rainbow for Girls by being initiated into the Grand Cross of color. In 2005, Sally, his wife of 31 years would suddenly die. He would often share that his “world ended that day” because he had lost his best friend and the love of his life.
In 2007, George would retire from the State of New Mexico after 23 ½ years of service. He would be lucky to fall in love again and marry once more. George and Patricia Byrne would be married in a simple service with family and friends to celebrate. He would be blessed with a much larger family with grandchildren, two more daughters, and two more sons-in-law. George found his new purpose to spoil his grandchildren, love his daughters and to encourage his sons-in-law to be the best men they could be.
George continued to work as a bailiff in District Court and served as non-medical transport until his full retirement in 2010. Sadly, in 2013, George lost his love once again when Patricia died suddenly. That same year he rekindled a connection with old friends, old hobbies and the Masonic families, which allowed him to enjoy life once more.
In the last years of his life, he enjoyed retirement and many interests/hobbies. He developed close friendships, especially with the morning and afternoon coffee group. His friends would mask up and social distancing during the quarantine to support each other. He was blessed to find Kay Dabbs. They filled each other’s life with happiness every through the hardship of aging. He was surrounded by friends that thought of him as family.
Gorge was a husband, father, brother, friend, and mentor! He will be greatly be missed by all those that loved him. He is survived by: Candice and Raymond Evartt of Tolar, TX, Grandchildren: Austen Evartt, Diane Evartt and, Colten Evartt Andrea and Delmar (JR) Hicks of Vale, Oregon Grandchildren: Brianna Deveraux and Tristen Deveraux Kimberly Byrne and Arlie Cates of Roswell NM, Grandchildren: Brooklyn VanDeventer Jade Cates Desires Moore Great, Grandchildren: Ariel George P. Byrne requested to be cremated and to be scattered with his parents.
Honorary pallbearers will be, Jerry Dennis, John Dean, Larry Stoltz, John Wrinkle, Joel Ware, Jim Herrell, Roy Shoemaker.
The family request that instead of flowers, that memorial donations in Honor of Gorge, be made to Shriner Hospitals for Children or your charity of choice. “Shriners Hospital for Children- HONOLULU” In the notation area, please write “Patient Transportation Fund.” Mail it to: Shriners Hospitals for Children Attn: Development Office 1310 Punahou Street Honolulu, HI 96826-1027
A memorial service for George will be held at 1:00 PM, Saturday, February 6, 2021 at First United Methodist Church, 200 N. Pennsylvania, Roswell NM, Father Dale from St Andrew’s Episcopal Church will be officiating.
The family asks for no one to travel due to the current pandemic. Please attend online by watching Facebook Live. The family welcomes pictures and short stories of George to be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Arrangements are under the personal care of LaGrone Funeral Chapel. Online condolences may be made at www.lagronefuneralchapels.com