Judy Byrnes

Friday, February 9, 2024 7:27 pm

Judy L. Byrnes, 78, of Waukon, died Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2024, at her home.

Funeral services will be held Monday, Feb. 12, at 11 a.m. at St. Patrick Catholic Church in Waukon, with Fr. John Moser officiating. Burial will be at St. Mary’s Hanover Cemetery in rural Waukon. Friends may greet the family from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday at Martin – Grau Funeral Home in Waukon. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to St Patrick’s School or Veterans Memorial Hospital, both in Waukon.

Judy Luvern Byrnes was born April 17, 1945, in Spring Grove, Minn., one of 12 children born to Emmett and Lillian (Doubek) Schwartzhoff. In 1963, she graduated from Waukon High School. On Nov. 9, 1963, she married Dennis James Byrnes and together they raised seven children.

They started farming together on the Buckmaster Farm in the Yellow River area in December of 1964. In 1968, they moved to the Jefferson Township area to continue with dairy and hog farming; special thanks to Carl Johanningmeier. In 1972, they moved to Hanover, rural Waukon, where they farmed until they sold the farm to their youngest son Matt in 2001.

Judy loved her large family, and fortunately, she loved cooking and baking. Her homemade breads, pies, cinnamon rolls, and cakes were some of her renowned specialties. On a moment’s notice, she could prepare a meal for two to 10 people.

Throughout her life, she was a member of St Mary Catholic churches in Dorchester and Hanover. She was also involved with the Hanover Rosary Society, participated in several CEW activities, was a Eucharistic Minister, and a CCD teacher. Faith was very important in her life.  She firmly believed in the power of prayer and encouraged others to pray. She started every day reading the Living Faith daily passage with Dennis, prayed before every meal, and before retiring at day’s end.

Much of her time was spent gardening, mowing the large lawn, playing euchre, dancing, spending time with her family, and passing on her baking secrets. Thursday lunch dates in Waukon with family and friends was a tradition for many years. Judy also enjoyed reading and loved watching the Hawkeyes, Packers, and Cubs with Dennis.

On February 19,1988, Judy was in a car accident that nearly took her life. As a result of her injuries, she spent a week in the hospital, enduring pain and reduced mobility the rest of her life, therapy visits, chiropractors, doctor visit after doctor visit…, yet Judy would not allow this to define her life. Judy had many job titles which included: doctor, teacher, chef, dairy farmer, accountant, tax specialist, taxi driver, psychologist, counselor, mediator, referee, judge, jury, babysitter, but most importantly wife, mother and grandmother.

She is survived by her husband Dennis of Waukon; her seven children: Jeff (Martha) Byrnes of New Albin, Wayne (Jane) Byrnes of Waukon, Karen (Darryl) Frana of Decorah, Brad Byrnes (Vicki Bigley) of Pueblo, Colo., Greg (Amy) Byrnes of Dorchester, Beth (Jason) Simpson of Cedar Falls, and Matt (Michelle) Byrnes of Dorchester;  21 grandchildren: Brittany, James, and Jordan Byrnes, Sara Snitker, Amanda Schulte, Shelby Moose, and Abby Nuehring; Alyssa Cooper, Leah Funke, and Garrett Cooper; Grace and Katherine Byrnes; Thomas, Olivia, and Lucas Byrnes; Christian, Justin, and Evan Simpson; and Milan, Mason, and Marcus Byrnes; five step-grandchildren; 17 great-grandchildren; four sisters: Carol (Bill Hancock), Mavis Wishcop, Karen (Dave) Gross, and Kathy Schwartzhoff; two brothers-in-law: Pat Delaney and Gary Ward; and a sister-in-law: Karen McCormick. Judy is also survived by her sisters-in-law: Elizabeth (Robert) McMillan and Peggy Oldham and brothers-in-law: Pat (Carol), Roger (Rita), and Ed Byrnes.

Judy was preceded in death by her parents; five sisters: Theresa McCormick, Mary Ward, Dorie Bulman, Aileen Delaney, and Ramona Ward; two brothers: Jim and Donnie Schwartzhoff; two sisters-in-law: Joann and Shirley Schwartzhoff; brother-in-law: Jim McCormick; son-in-law: Kevin Cooper; and a nephew and several nieces. Also preceding Judy in death are her father and mother-in-law Garland and Mary Byrnes; sister-in-law Barbara Byrnes; and brother-in-law Rick Oldham.

Honorary casketbearers are Brittany and Jordan Byrnes, Amanda Schulte, Shelby Moose, Abby Nuehring, Alyssa Cooper, Leah Funke, Katherine, Olivia, and Lucas Byrnes, Justin and Evan Simpson, Mason and Marcus Byrnes, Rick and Cathy Larson, John and Sheryl Prestemon, and Ron and Theresa Snitker. Casketbearers are James and Milan Byrnes, Garrett Cooper, Christian Simpson, Sara Snitker, and Grace and Thomas Byrnes.

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