John Gerard Byrne of Avondale Drive who died in Wexford General Hospital on July 5 was a great father and grandfather who is sadly missed by all his family and friends.
Ger as he was known, was born on October 21, 1928 in Grogan's Road, the fourth eldest of nine children of the late John and Margaret Byrne of St. Aidan's Crescent.
He was educated in Wexford CBS and at the age of 17, he began his working life in Pierces Foundry before emigrating to England five years later in 1950. He worked at various jobs including mining and grave digging, working on building sites and with British Rail.
He met the love of his life Winifred Ann Londors in England. They were married in 1955 and two years later their daughter Sharon was born. In 1972, Ger returned to Wexford with his family and began working with Jackman Engineering where he remained until his retirement in 1980. His beloved Ann passed away in 1997 following a short illness.
Family was the most important thing in Ger's life. To his grandchildren Justin and Alex, he was everything they could have hoped for in a grandad, fun-loving, encouraging and full of worldly knowledge.
Ger couldn't believe his luck when his seven year old great-grandaughter Ruby was born and he was delighted to have an extended family in his grandchildren's partners Aoife and Jonny.
He had a special relationship with his only daughter Sharon. They were more than father and daughter, they were best friends.
Ger loved animals and birds and had a special soft spot for his one-eyed Jack Russel 'Jack' who accompanied him on many a walk. He was an early riser and he and Jack could often be seen walking on Wexford quays early in the morning before heading to the newsagents for his paper which he would use to study form and try his luck at picking some winners.
Ger was a fit man and was rarely sick in his 88 years. He fell suddenly ill last November and passed away peacefully on July 5, surrounded by his loving family, following eight months of illness.
Ger was described as a true gentleman by his son-in-law Philip and by many other mourners who attended his funeral Mass in Clonard Church. Burial took place in St. Ibar's Cemetery, Crosstown.
He will be sadly missed by his loving family, friends and neighbours.
Ger is survived by his daughter Sharon; son-in-law Philip; grandchildren Justin and Alex; great-grandaughter Ruby; his sisters Shelly and Sr. Peggy Byrne; his brother-in-law Jimmy; his extended family Aoife and Jonny; nieces and nephews, relatives and friends.