Mary L. Byrnes, 94

June 26, 1923 - Nov. 25, 2017

Mary Lester Byrnes, who lived on Cedar Street in East Hampton, died at home on Nov. 25 at the age of 94. She had helped her husband establish Vincent Byrnes Plumbing and operate it from home.

Born in Bridgehampton on June 26, 1923, to the former Ethel Guyer and Raymond Lester, Ms. Byrnes was an active parishioner at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in East Hampton as a member of the altar guild and a Sunday school teacher alongside a cousin, Ruth Dendato. She had volunteered with the East Hampton chapter of the American Cancer Society and, with the late Shirley Plitt of East Hampton, was a den mother for Cub Scout Pack 8, her family said.

Ms. Byrnes met her future husband at East Hampton High School, from which she graduated in 1940. Her family said their romance began when she and a girlfriend were stranded at the Edwards movie theater (today’s Regal) because of a flat tire and he rescued them. They married in 1946 and had two sons, Robert, who survives, and Raymond, who died at the age of 4. Her husband died in 2007 and Ms. Byrnes continued to manage the plumbing business with the help of their son, Robert, and grandson, James Byrnes. 

Her family said that having had heart bypass surgery at the age of 60, she was “extremely conscious of her health and could be found walking miles every day along the sidewalks and lanes in East Hampton.” She was vigilant about diet and exercise, they said, and continued to be in good health until her 90s.

Ms. Byrnes and her husband had a large vegetable garden and picked beach plums and made jelly in the fall. Her son said she was an excellent cook. In addition to her son and grandson, a granddaughter and three great-grandchildren, all of East Hampton, survive.

She was buried next to her husband and their firstborn son in the family plot at Cedar Lawn Cemetery in East Hampton. The Very Rev. Denis C. Brunelle presided at a graveside service last Thursday morning, which was followed by a reception in St. Luke’s Parish Hall. The family has suggested donations to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 262 Danny Thomas Place, Memphis, Tenn. 38105.