Ward Byrne

Wards of Wisdom.

In 2022 the world lost a brilliant, thoughtful and loving man. A husband, a father, an uncle, a teacher. A golfer, chess player, punster, professor. Ward Byrne was a great man to his family and community and is missed terribly. This website is a place to share words, thoughts, stories, and of course bad puns. Scroll down to read more and contribute your own.

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Punny

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Analytical

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Thank you for being such a great father and husband ❤️

Sr Cynthia Babyak
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Devoted

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Family-oriented

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Codfish

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Sharp

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Clever

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I had the privilege of hiring Ward as a math teacher and admiring his zeal, great attitude and love of our students. Good math teachers are hard to find. We were searching and one morning really early in the summer I came into work before 6 am and fax of a resume came in. Ward's resume was too good to be true. He had his teaching degree and then went into corporate work to raise his family and wanted to return to teaching alter in his career. I thought "Well he faxed it this morning so he must be awake so I called him. He answered and I told him about the great challenges to teaching at an alternative school and he became more excited about the challenge. I said come on in and let's talk and he came right to the school and I interviewed him by 7 am. The more I tried to scare him away the more excited he got and the rest is history. He was one of the most compassionate, loving and dedicated teachers I ever had the chance to work with. there was so much more that I admired about Ward. God must have needed a compassionate teacher by his side and the world and heaven is a better place for it.

Ray Bock, Former Principal at Collier High School

Family man

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Brilliant

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One-of-a-kind

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You have enough love to last you a thousand lifetimes.
Submitted by Maverick Shane Moran
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Altruistic

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Uncle Codfish you are the best godfather a girl could ask for! I’ll never forget everything you taught me through your words, your puns, your actions and your love. Your guidance on how to putt in mini golf made me the champion I am now when Mark and I challenge each other. Your strength showed me you can overcome anything thrown your way for as long as you are willing to try, you will succeed. Your love showed me no matter how hard life gets you are always there to lend a hand, an ear, or a shoulder and I know you are still listening. Your positive attitude showed me you can either feel sorry for yourself or find the good in everything. And you always found the good. Your puns, though sometimes eye rolling, made me laugh and smile, and were especially appreciated when all I wanted to do was cry. Both intentionally or unintentionally you made me a better person and showed me how to be strong.

Megan
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I loved Ward. We had cousins’ memories together. The three sisters (our mothers) and their children had summers together in Seaside Park. One night at the end of every season we went to the boardwalk. I was ten years old. Ward and I decided to go on the ferris wheel that is enclosed but swivels and turns upside down. I immediately told Ward (with tears) that I was scared. Ward made that contraption stay up straight. Not easy. Ward also taught me gin rummy and how to beat my cousins @ 500.

Susie Rogers

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For a variety of reasons with one big one being a global pandemic, I wasn’t able to bring my wife Rachel to meet my extended family in New Jersey until we got engaged. I remember introducing her to Uncle Ward and how welcoming he was to her. It was a very special and exciting time for all of us. Uncle Ward was a man who preached the importance of family, and explained how important family has always meant to him and how he considered us part of that. Rachel who he had just met and Todd who had been his nephew for 34 years. He loved Rachel despite her love for the Dallas Cowboys, which is saying a lot! Ultimately he was an amazing man! We love and miss him dearly, and hope he’s still cracking those daily jokes up there in heaven and rooting for Giants.

Todd & Rachel
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Loving husband

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Kindhearted

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Character

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You were truly an inspiration, and the world was a better place for having had you in it. You were always kind and forgiving. It is rare to find such a person who possessed a love of people and showed patience and always looked for the good in all. I am a better person for having known you.

Kevin McAleer

My most cherished memories of Ward are when we were sitting at the dinner table, listening to the day’s pun, read loudly by him, and watching as his smile spread, slowly yet completely across his face! Priceless!

Peg

Witty

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Kind

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You saw something in athletes that they didn’t see in themselves, and you drew that out of them. Everything to you was a teaching moment that made people better. While at Buddy Ball you were a shinning light that inspired me and my whole family.

Kevin McAleer

I was fortunate enough to celebrate Uncle Wards birthday with him this year. My mom made him a baileys cheesecake. We lit the candles on the cake, sang happy birthday, and watched him blow out the candles, something he struggled with in the past. This time no candle stood a chance. I’ll never forget the smile on his face when he succeeded and cheered for himself.

Megan
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Pun

What did the hat say to the necktie? I’ll go on ahead, you just hang around!

Ward was a great person. I literally cannot remember a time that he did not greet me with a smile. When I was younger, I remember him as a person with great energy. I remember him tossing me in the air as a child. I heard tales of golf marathons, an epic appetite and an unmatched intensity and commitment when he wanted to learn something. Every time I play a game of chess, I think of him. He gave me a book on it for study. I never really studied it hard, but I'm sure he did and took it all in, and practiced it. I think of pointers he gave me for golf, probably at a family golf tournament, particularly that "keeping your head down" is a misnomer. I always thought that was so funny. He was adamant about it. I know he loved his family, so much, Kathy, Sean, Greg and Amy Kate, and they loved him. His larger family felt the same way about him. All the other Byrne's, the McFadden's, the Ward's, The Roger's, The Rossi's, All Kathy's side of the family, We all loved Ward. How could you not?

Colin Mcfadden

Superman

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Pun

When everything is coming your way, you're in the wrong lane.

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One if the funniest stories I remember is at Pharoah’s Lodge or Eagles Mere when Ward went upstairs to get his keys to open his car. He opened the doors from upstairs and by the time he got downstairs' the doors locked. He went back up and did it again and of course the doors locked again. Did this again laughing so hard and it became a game trying to beat the lock!

Bean
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Dedicated

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It takes the heart of a champion to smile in the face of adversity, One of my father’s favorite sayings. No matter what is happening, no matter the circumstances: nothing dictates how you respond except you. Dad, you always made it sound so easy, but these past few weeks have been difficult to adhere to those words. It has been heartbreaking to watch, my dad, my hero, has been taken from me. As hard as this has been, I take solace in the fact that even at the end, you were able to teach me about how to be a man. You handled this awful circumstance with dignity and grace. You made me so proud. Depending on who you’re talking to; John Ward Byrne was either a devoted husband, a loving father, a brother, an uncle, a brother in law, or a friend you always knew you could count on. But above all, My father was a teacher. At times this was his profession, but it was always his passion. Today, I want to tell you about my dad and share with you some of the lessons he has taught me over these past 33 years. He believed having fun was paramount. I have hundreds of memories of my dad’s smiling face, his laughter when he thought something was really funny, or the smirk in his mouth when he was playing a trick. Having fun with my dad was easy, he was always up for a game, or a pun. Being diagnosed with Parkinson’s can be devastating to some people. My dad always took it in stride. When the doctor told him his medicine would lower his blood pressure and he needed more salt in his diet, he lit up like a Christmas tree; knowing, my mom always yelled at him for using too much salt. Preceded to always set the table with the salt shaker next to my mom so she would have to pass him the salt during dinner. Always asking with a grin on his face. “Hey hun, pass the salt” When my dad was told that he only had 16% of his brain functioning properly, he instantly took one look at my mom and said 2% more than you! My dad enjoyed his life and he always wanted the same for the rest of us. To me, my dad knew everything. I wanted to ski, I found out my dad was an amazing skier, I wanted to play basketball he would spend hours with me shooting around after work. My sister wanted to pitch softball, he let her ruin the back of the garage ripping ball after ball into the siding until she was a great pitcher. My dad was a special golfer, I remember my basement having 15+ golf trophies from back in the day. My brother participates in Special Olympics bowling, my dad somehow knew everything about bowling. To me and my siblings, my dad was superman. He showed me how important family was. Not in words, but in actions. Always showing up for us, being at every event, even helping form a basketball league for special needs so my brother would be able to play. You don’t become East Brunswick’s man of the year for no reason. My dad never complained, he would get up early with my sister and spend weekends on end watching softball tournements, he always doing all the chores in the house so we wouldn’t have to. Despite my mother telling him otherwise. It’s just what he did, always put other people before himself especially family. My father was in my opinion, a great husband. I would watch him bend over backwards for my mom, at the same time my dad would challenge her. He would defend his children even when they were in the wrong, especially me, He would always joke with me that 90% of his fights with my mom were because he had to stick up for something I did. He would make this joke with a smile on his face and I would know the next time I messed up, he would still be there sticking up for me. He once told me, Greg when you find the one who makes you as happy as mom makes me, you better fight for her. Life does not come easy, going after what you want is the only way to get what you deserve. Mom, Dad loved you more than anything, he was blessed to have you in his life. The last lesson he taught me, was that if you live a life full of love for others, you will never feel alone. These past 2 weeks, the amount of support from family members and friends has been so evident. Dad, I hope you know how much you were loved, how much everyone adored and admired you. Your house was full of visitors 24/7 with people there to say goodbye, to lend a helping hand, to cook or clean, to be with you. As you move on, know that you will never be alone, for all of of us here will always carry a piece of you in our hearts. So dad I promise; to always have fun, to work hard at my marriage, to show my family with my actions that they’re my biggest priority, lastly I promise to live a life full of love for others just as you did. I love you dad, thank you for everything.

Greg
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Pun

What did the penguin magician say to the other penguin? Pick a cod, any cod!

I loved that Ward was able to return to teaching at the end of his working career! As stated by many, Teaching was his true passion! His ability to teach others, and the manner in which he taught was a true gift! Ward would laugh over the fact that his students called him “Styles” because of the numerous/theme appropriate ties (given to him each year by his godchild) he wore! I tend to believe that the nickname was not simply referring to the ties but also to Ward’s unique STYLE of teaching! Any student of his (to repeat the words of Father Tom) was REWARDED with a better approach and understanding of the lesson at hand and renewed confidence in his/her ability to succeed!

Peg

Whether it be in the classroom, on the golf course, or during a game of chess, Uncle Ward was always such a compassionate teacher and educator.

Joel

Loving

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Educator

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