Bessie B. Byrnes, 101, of Lancaster, and formerly of Harrisburg, and Ormond Beach,
FL, died peacefully surrounded by her family on Thursday, December 29, 2016 at
Brethren Village. Born in Newport, Perry County, she was the daughter of the late
Charles E. Sr. and Bessie F. Gross Black. Bessie attended Fairview Grade School,
Newport Union High School Class of ’32 and Central Pennsylvania Business College in
Harrisburg. She was the wife of 56 years to the late Robert E. Byrnes who died in
January 2005. Bessie was employed as a secretary for General Motors, Chevrolet
Division in Harrisburg and later for the United States Defense Intelligence Agency,
Washington D.C. For over 56 years Bessie was a member of Fifth Street Methodist
Church, Harrisburg; previously she was a member of St. Samuels Lutheran Church of
Newport, and Christ Lutheran Church of Harrisburg. Bessie was a passionate Bridge
player achieving the “Life Master Rank” from the American Contract Bridge League.
Surviving is a daughter, Mary Jane, wife of Douglas M. Kelley of Lake Wylie, SC, a
son, John C., husband of Avril Hoffer of San Antonio, TX , six grandsons, twelve great
grandchildren, and two great great grandchildren. Preceding her in death are five
sisters: Alma O. Morris, Stella E. Jones, Sara Ritter, Mary Lesh, Helen Sutch, and two
brothers: William Black, and Charles E. Black Jr.
Relatives and friends are respectfully invited to attend Bessie’s Life Celebration
Memorial Service at the Brethren Village Chapel, 3001 Lititz Pike, Lancaster, on
Tuesday, January 17, 2017 at 11:00 AM. Friends may visit with the family at the chapel
on Tuesday morning from 10:30 AM until the time of the service. Interment will be in
East Harrisburg Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers contributions may be sent in Bessie’s
memory to Brethren Village Endowment Fund, 3001 Lititz Pike, P. O. Box 5093,
Lancaster, PA 17606.