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Patrick Fintan Byrne
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Obituary for Patrick Fintan Byrne

Patrick Fintan Byrne, 84, of Atlanta passed away quietly on the morning of Feb. 27. Married to his beloved Marie Byrne (nee Walsh) for 63 years, Fintan was born in Dublin, Ireland, the third son of the late Thomas O’Byrne and Tess Healy. He is pre-deceased by brothers Jack, Christie and sister Lenie.

Migrating to the U.S. in 1960 with wife Marie and their young daughter Mari, Fintan went on to become a U.S. citizen – a title he wore with great pride, often claiming to be the most patriotic person in the country. In New York, he forged a successful career as chief engineer for heating and cooling systems for several skyscrapers from groundbreaking until all tenants were settled in. He worked on buildings from Rockefeller Center to the Antique Center on West 57th Street so, in his way, contributed to the changing city skyline.

Fintan never met a stranger. He was a man of uncanny wit and humor, and an emotive yet modest singer of Irish songs. He was proud to say that he could fix anything around the house, and hundreds of repair projects proved him right. His passions included amateur furniture-making, letter writing (his missives to Marie’s family in Ireland are the stuff of legend), and most of all, his grandchildren. At 62, as a last-minute race substitution, he threw himself into marathon running with the same level of zeal and determination that had marked so many of the successes in his life. Within a few years, he was regularly winning races in his age group, always wearing the good luck t-shirt that featured baby pictures of his beloved grandsons.

He is survived by Marie, sisters Mary Farrelly of San Diego and Kathleen Kendrick of Dublin, Ireland; daughter Mari Hart and son-in-law Mike Hart of Atlanta; grandsons Patrick Hart of Atlanta and Drew Hart of Brooklyn, NY, and more friends than we could possibly list here.

A private memorial service for family and friends will be held March 4. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Glasnevin Cemetery Fund, Dublin, Ireland in honor of Sean Healy and Bernard Ryan.


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