Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Today we say good bye...

Last night we learned of the passing of the amazing & talented Bill Byrnes. Bill is the husband of long-time bureau-partner and friend, Barbara Byrnes. Barb worked as a speakers bureau agent since 1978 and contributed a great deal to the industry. We have deep sympathy learning about the loss of her husband and give Barb & her family lots love, support & well wishes during this time of sorrow...

Published in Kansas City Star on January 9, 2013

William J. Byrnes, 78, passed away January 7, 2013, due to illness. He was born in Pierre, SD, on July 25, 1934, to Phil and Irene Byrnes, and graduated from Pierre High School. Bill won an art scholarship to attend the University of SD in Vermillion and received a BFA degree. He met his future wife, Barbara James, at the University on a blind date, and they were married in 1959 in Sioux Falls, SD. Bill was a member of the Theta Xi Social Fraternity and the Kappa Kappa Psi Band Fraternity. Upon graduating from the University, he and Barbara finished out the final 9 months of his U.S. Army obligation in Ft. Huachuca, AZ, later moving to Kansas City, MO, for a short time. Then they moved to Des Moines, IA, where Bill was employed as an advertising artist with the Des Moines Register & Tribune from 1960- 1965. From 1965-1966 he was a commercial artist for the Publications Department of Iowa State University in Ames. During his time in Iowa, he continued his studies in oil painting and figure drawing at the Des Moines Art Center. He exhibited his art work at the Art Center, also at Iowa State Fairs. Other activities included joining a dance club, volunteering to usher at a local theater, and playing cards. From 1966-1970 Bill worked for Trans World Airlines as a Technical Illustrator in Kansas City. He then became employed as an Advertising Artist for The Kansas City Star in their Creative Services Department and retired after 30 years of service. He continued to attend the Kansas City Art Institute's figure drawing classes, which was his specialty, using conte crayon as his media. He has exhibited at the Tri Delta Art Festival, Plaza Art Fair, Metcalf South Shopping Center, Prairie Village Sidewalk Art Show, Antioch Park-Art in the Park, Crown Center Art Festival (receiving second place among the drawing media), Mission Shopping Center Art Show, Brookside Art Show and Westport Art Fair. Since the inception of the Westport Art Show in 1980, Bill was one of the original artists. Some of his original drawings have also been on exhibit in the Western Art Gallery section of Wall Drug Store, in Wall, SD, a tourist must-stop attraction on the way to the Black Hills and Mount Rushmore. Also, an original drawing is hanging on the wall of Kelly's in Westport. Bill and Barb lived in Overland Park, KS. In 1970 Bill designed the first official Seal for the Overland Park Fire Department. Along with his art, he enjoyed playing the sax in the Overland Park band, gardening, country music, dancing, church activities and sports. Bill is survived by his wife Barbara, their son Brian and his wife Sharla and granddaughter Regan, their daughter Becky and grandson Brody, his sister Phyllis Solberg and brother Stephen. His parents, a sister and a brother preceded him in death. Memorial services are Friday, January 11, 2013, 2 p.m. at Christ Church Anglican, 5500 W. 91st St., Overland Park, KS 66207. A reception will follow the service. (Arr: Cremation Society of Kansas & Missouri, 8837 Roe, Prairie Village, KS 66207; 913- 383-9888)

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