Obituary: Eleanor “Ronnie” Byrnes
Eleanor “Ronnie” Byrnes, beloved wife of the late William Carroll Byrnes, Jr., died peacefully at her home in Stratford on February 10, 2018, at the age of 95.
Ronnie was born on April 30, 1922, in Rutherford, NJ, to parents Bartlett Greene and Ruth Schenk Greene, delivered by physician and poet William Carlos Williams.
She is survived by her children Fredric (Lynn) and Kimberly Marshall; her grandchildren Christopher (Carly), Kathryn, and Michael; her great-grandchildren Abigail and Sean; and her niece Jan Stuart; and is predeceased by sister Margaret Stuart and niece Maret Taft.
She was known by many nicknames and terms of endearments, including Robbie, Bab and Gigi. She attended Atlantic City High School and was a proud graduate of Bucknell University (class of 1943), where she was an active member of the student body and continued to be very involved as an alumna. Ronnie grew up in Margate, NJ, and lived throughout the south while her husband served in WWII, before settling in Milford, CT, where she lived for many years and raised her family. She earned her masters’ degree in Education in 1964 from Southern Connecticut State College and taught in the Milford elementary school system, earning a Teacher of the Year award.
She and Bill extensively traveled the world, and often visited their second home in Vero Beach, FL. Despite no corroboration from her family, Ronnie cited baking and sewing as her hobbies, along with enjoying martinis, a hobby to which all her friends and relations can attest. She and Bill were longtime members of the Milford Yacht Club and enjoyed the time spent boating on Long Island Sound.
Ronnie moved full-time to Vero Beach after Bill’s death, where she continued to surround herself with close friends from her days at Bucknell, as well as her dear friend Jack Barker. A member of the Community Church of Vero Beach, Ronnie also volunteered at the ACS Hospice House. She frequented the Vero Beach Yacht Club, where she was a member, and enjoyed playing bridge and spending time with friends.
Ronnie always drew attention from people of all ages with her magnetic personality and fashion sense. She was a party waiting to happen, always finding something to laugh about and celebrate. Ronnie loved people and took great care to learn about each person she met. She was fond of saying the most important thing she learned in life is “to be kind to others.”
There will be a celebration of her life on Monday, March 12, 2018 at 11 a.m. at the Chapel of the Plymouth Building at the First United Church of Christ, West Main St., Milford, CT.