Gene M. Byrnes, a native of Santa Fe, an honorable friend, mentor to many, and a vital part of the community, passed away peacefully on June 8th. He courageously fought the good fight until his last breath took him, to once again breathe freely in the kingdom of heaven in the company of his mother, Alice Tiano.
Gene served in the U.S. Army and was honorably discharged in 1956. He studied accounting and investments at the College of Santa Fe, earning a Bachelor of Science Degree. Gene worked at the NM Educational Retirement Board as the Deputy Director and retired in 1983. After his state retirement, he went on to work at Santa Fe Public Schools as a Transportation Administrator and loved driving school buses for his many “kiddos”.
As an active member of the community, Gene was a member of the Elks club, previously serving as chaplain. He was chairman of the College of Santa Fe Alumni Library Fund and CSF Alumni Board member from 1978 – 2019. Through the alumni scholarship committee, thousands of degrees have been awarded to graduates. He was a charter member in the school’s Hard Flint Society, contributing to the growth of CSF.
His passion for life included being an avid tennis player, Sudoku master, and Notre Dame fan. He loved green chile and occasionally raising hell.
He made a beautiful home for his family, and filled it with love, life and laughter. He left us with many things, but most importantly, with wisdom, kindness, and empathy, - his greatest gifts.
His most proud achievement in life was marrying the love of his life, Annette, who supported him in all his endeavors throughout their 62 years together. He is survived by his wife, Annette; his son Danny (Lupe) and their child Rachel (Daniel); his daughter Deborah and her children Lynnsey (Frank) and James (Katie); his son Randy (Andrea) and their child Ariana (Jon); his son David; his brother Bobby and his children Scot, Mike, Kathy and Robin; and many loved great grand-children.
Friends are invited to share their memories on Monday, June 17th, at Berardinelli’s Mortuary from 5:00pm – 8:00pm (viewing at 5:00, Rosary/Eulogy at 6:00) and Tuesday, June 18th 10:00am mass service at St. Francis Cathedral with internment to follow at the Santa Fe National Cemetery. Please join us in celebrating his life with a reception at the Elks Lodge after the funeral service.