Dorothy A. Byrnes

Dorothy A. “Dottie” Byrnes, 83, a lifelong resident of Keene, passed away peacefully in her home with her husband at her side on Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2021, following a period of failing health.

Her parents, Norman A. and Grace (Wall) Blake, welcomed their daughter into the world on March 8, 1937, in Keene. Dottie was a 1955 graduate of Keene High School.

Dottie worked for 23 years with Peerless Insurance Company, later known as The Netherlands Insurance Company, the last seven years in Corporate Communications, retiring in 1997.

Dottie’s insurance career included a 20-year membership to the National Association of Insurance Women (International). She dedicated her time, rising through the ranks and serving in different capacities, including President, Local Chapter, NAIW of Southern NH/VT and Director, State of New Hampshire Council of NAIW.

After retiring, she started her own graphic arts, corporate communications business, Effective Design ‘n Type. She specialized in prepress design, graphics, layout and typesetting, rendered to post-print standards, full project management to final product. Dottie was also an independent contractor and workshop instructor in the art of rubber stamping technique and design, associated with The Angel Company.

She had a deep abiding faith and was a lifelong parishioner of St. Margaret Mary Church and a member of the Catholic Daughters of America Court Josephine No. 319.

Dottie’s creative mind and skilled hands served her well not only in her work responsibilities, but also as a talented knitter, painter and craftswoman. She especially loved designing and creating handmade cards for each family member on their birthday.

Dottie designed Keene’s 250th anniversary book, “Places I Remember.” With the help of the Historical Society of Cheshire County and area photographers, this book was published in time for Keene’s 250th celebration on May 31, 2003. Many years ago, Dottie and John worked to purchase more than 300 new band jackets for the Keene Middle School band members. John organized the fundraising and Dottie designed the red jacket logo and all publicity material.

Dottie, with her husband John, traveled extensively throughout the United States and Canada. Alaska is the only state she didn’t have the opportunity to visit.

She is survived by her husband of 63 years, John J. Byrnes Sr. of Keene; her children: Michael Byrnes of Keene; Sherri Beckta of Keene; John J. Byrnes Jr. and his wife, Kiersten McKenney, of Brattleboro; and Timothy Byrnes and his wife, Jennifer, of Troy; her grandchildren: Ryan Byrnes; Ian Byrnes; Dr. Jason Beckta and his wife, Julie; Adam Beckta and his wife, Madeline; Jessica Muzzey and her wife, Stacie Mathieu; Josh Byrnes and his wife, Jessica; Jamie Hsu and her husband, Chien-Luke; Allison Alger and her husband, Gavin; Emily Byrnes; and Colin McKenney and his wife, Lulu; her great-grandchildren: Edward Beckta, Perrin Beckta, Ezra Beckta, Abigail Muzzey, Hannah Muzzey, Emmalee Moore, Parker Byrnes and Jameson Byrnes; as well as several nieces and nephews. Dottie was predeceased by her brother, Norman Blake.

A mass of Christian burial will be celebrated on Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021, at 10:30 a.m. in St. Margaret Mary Church, 33 Arch St., Keene. Burial with committal prayers will follow in the Scared Heart Cemetery, Cemetery Road, Westminster, Vt. Family and friends are invited to call on the family on Monday evening from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Foley Funeral Home, 49 Court St., Keene. All those in attendance at the visitation and funeral mass are required to wear facemasks and to maintain the physical distancing requirements.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Mrs. Byrnes’ memory to the Monadnock Humane Society, 101 West Swanzey Road, West Swanzey NH 03446.

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