Richard A. Byrns was born on September 8, 1933 in Gouverneur, to the late Alton and Cecile (Fullington) Byrns. He grew up there and graduated from Gouverneur High School in 1951. In his youth he was a very active 4-H member and was a Future Farmer of America, serving as the President of the Gouverneur FFA chapter and was also recognized as an “Empire Farmer” by the New York State Association in 1950. A marriage to Myra Flanagan in 1952 ended in divorce. He was later married to Chrisoula Sarbanes on June 9, 1983 until her death in 2006.
Dick owned and operated Alfalfa Acres, a dairy farm where he bred and raised registered Brown Swiss cattle, in the town of Fowler until 1980. During that time he received recognition for his work, such as the Degree of Honorary Chapter Farmer from the local Gouverneur FFA and in 1960 he was awarded the Outstanding Young Farmer Award by the Ogdensburg Junior Chamber of Commerce. He served as a Sire Committeeman for the Eastern Artificial Insemination Cooperative and received recognition for his many services and contributions. He also served as a former President and Director of the National Brown Swiss Association. Dick was also a member of the St. Lawrence County Farm Bureau and a former Director of the Gouverneur Co-op Association.
Dick later formed and operated East Coast Cattle Leasing Company with his wife, Chrisoula while also managing Empire Livestock in Gouverneur. He owned and operated Byrns Realty Company and Auctions Plus until retiring in 2005. Dick was known as a hard working man and he thoroughly enjoyed it. Dick loved the company of his dog, Abbie. Dick lived most of his life in Gouverneur prior to moving to Pennsylvania in September of 2007 to be closer to his family.
Richard is survived by three daughters and two sons-in-law, Nancy Searles of Moravia, Amy and Pat Hillanbrand of Lehighton, PA and Susan and Russ Moody of Wauseon, OH; a brother, Paul Byrns of Gouverneur; and seven grandchildren.
He was predeceased by a son, Ralph Byrns; a son-in-law, David Searles; and a sister-in-law, June Byrns.
Calling hours will be from 7 – 9 p.m. on Friday, September 17th at French’s Funeral Home, Gouverneur. The funeral service will be at 11 a.m. on Saturday, September 18th at the funeral home.
In lieu of flowers donations may be made in memory of Richard to Golden Living Center, Scranton – Activities Department, Attention: Betty Penzone 824 Adams Avenue Scranton, PA 18510.