Denise D. Byrnes

April 05, 1951 ‒ July 21, 2020

Fredericktown, Ohio

Denise D. Byrnes, 69, of Fredericktown passed away on Tuesday morning, July 21, 2020 at her home. She was born on April 5, 1951 in Youngstown to the late Robert G. and Jeanne R. (Keller) Byrnes.

In 1991, Denise (Dee) obtained her PhD from Ohio State University. She then spent the next 29 years in a fulfilling position as Associate Professor, Computer Science, Wooster College. Dee always said the reason she never retired from Wooster was simply, “I love the students”. Dee will be remembered for her love of animals: her horses, dogs, cats, birds and fish, She also loved gardening, skiing, horseback riding, mowing, splitting wood, camping, and enjoying nature from her beautiful wooded property in rural Morrow County. Dee was a cherished, loyal, and fun-loving friend, and a dear sister. She will always be in our hearts and thoughts for her quirky sense of humor, her intelligence and independence, her matter of factness, and “just get it done” attitude.

Denise is survived by her sisters, Dianne Russell of Fredericktown and Sharon Smith of Atlanta, GA.

In following with Denise’s wish, there will not be any service.

To share a memory or send the family an expression of sympathy visit

The Dowds-Snyder Funeral Home is honored to serve the family of Denise D. Byrnes.

  • I am very sorry to hear of Dee’s passing. We worked together many, many years ago. I very much enjoyed spending time with her at work, and socially on occasion as well, and have fond memories. She was such a pretty lady, and much fun. I am sorry for your loss.

  • My sweety cousin who I only new from afar….I am sure we’ll meet again and laugh together and talk about skiing and horses and cats and camping and books and movies! Goodbye Dee.

  • The College of Wooster is remembering Dr. Byrnes with so much fondness and appreciation. She did wonderful work with students, and cared so much about them as people and as learners. She was a pioneer in Computer Science, and a leader and role model to so many. We were incredibly fortunate to have on our faculty, and she will always be remembered her by her colleagues as well as by the many students who she taught so well.

    Sarah Bolton, President
    The College of Wooster

  • Very sad to hear of Dee’s passing. We were cousins of the same age and were good buddies when we were kids up through the start of high school. Her family left Youngstown and moved to Columbus. We remained friends and family through adulthood although more recently we had not seen each other in some time. We did have a lot of laughs and good times together and I shall miss her. I heard about this just this morning from another cousin, Lynda Groza Russell. I hope Sharon and Dianne and their families are doing well. Peace.

  • Denise, you are an amazing colleague and mentor. I was fortunate to co-advise a Senior with you. In that process, I learned about your life as one of the few women in computer science, your anti-war activism, and witness your devotion to students. I learned so much from you and I always looked forward to our meetings together because I knew I will be learning along with our student. Your resilience and spirit will be remembered. I am deeply thankful for having worked with you.

  • A friend for 46 years…. she was a great co-worker and became my best friend. We were both Aries and butted heads at times but we were always there for each other. The world has lost a great human being…..
    We shared a love of horses and supported one another at horse shows as well as in life.
    One day Dee you’ll have all your animals with you again! Rest assured your horse, cats and dogs are all fine but missing you greatly!

    DEE, John says he’s waiting to see you again….you two hold the door open for me!

  • I am so sorry to hear of Denise’s passing. I knew her from the College of Wooster. She was a lovely person, funny, and so dedicated to her work. We shared a love of animals. So sad that she is gone way too soon.

  • Marlene, Susan and I are all grieving Denise’s passing. Marlene and I were colleagues at the college and Susan was a student of hers. I know that she cared for her students more than anything else — except possibly her horses. I also know that her past and present students will all want to offer a huge “thank you” to her at this time. God bless you Denise!

  • We are so sorry to hear of Dee’s passing. What a shock! Unfortunately, after childhood we did not see each other except perhaps at a family reunion at Uncle Bob’s farm in the mid-1970’s. She was about 5 years younger than I, but my memories of her are that she always had a smile with an infectious giggle, was very quick-witted, loved the outdoors and the horses. As her cousin I am very proud of her accomplishments in her profession and and academic career. I wish we had had more time to be together, but when families are drawn apart by careers, time, and distance it is difficult to stay close. Rest in peace, Denise.

    Dick and Mary Beth Byrnes
    Sellersville, Pa.

  • I just became aware of Dee Dee’s passing from our cousin Laurie. Too young for sure. The last I saw her was in the early 90’s at the family farm near Columbus. Prior to that it had been several years since our paths crossed. My recollection was that she was very bubbly, a talented artist and musician. Seems she took after her dad who was one of the funniest grown ups I’d known. He and my mother were very close.

    Condolences to her sisters Sharon and Dianne. May she rest in peace.

  • I am so sorry to hear of Denise’s passing. I was the aide that took care of your mom though Kindred. I enjoyed meeting all of you girls. Still today I go by the road off of 95 and think of all of you. My condolences go out to each and everyone of you though this difficult time.

  • Dianne, My deepest sympathy to you and your family now and in the days to come. Take care of each other.

  • So upset I did Dee hair many many yes I am so sorry to hear about this she was one of a kind I will miss her comning to my shop

  • I know Dr. Byrnes as a student in her department in years of 2011-2014.
    Dr. Byrnes is THE person who originally led me on my academic pursuit. On a Computation Theory class, she answered students’ questions left and right, clear crytal, and shocked my mind. I admire her ingenuity.
    When doing my Independent Study, Dr. Byrnes was one of my two mentors and I get to know her better. She lives in the woods, gets water from a well. One cold winter morning she said she couldn’t come to class because the well was frozen.
    Through my college years, she advocated for me, granted me teaching assistant jobs. She also gave me feedback, telling me students like me, encouraging me.
    When I was doing IS, we chose a lesser-known topic she herself was not familiar of. But she encouraged me, listened to me, studied with me. She granted me full autonomy.
    When I was applying for PhD, she said “I am sure you will be accepted”. She told me multiple times I was a strong candidate. I failed the application process first year, but she still helped me make it happen the next year.

    Lastly I quote a saying carved on a certain stone on Wooster campus:
    “United in time, parted in time, to be reunited, when time is no more”

  • Very sad to hear of her passing. She was key to my eduction at Wooster and her lessons on life, and problem solving are used every day. Our thoughts are with her family and Wooster Comp Sci and Math departments.

  • Dr. Byrnes was one of the professors at Wooster who inspired me to get my PhD so that I could inspire students the way they did for me. She challenged me not to accept “good enough” at a time when I was not quite ready to do so, but I remembered her teaching when I was. Rest In Peace knowing you have improved the lives of so many students.

  • Dr. Byrnes was my professor at The College of Wooster and mentor during the summer internship program. Her classes were challenging, but she was always fair and would always work to make sure we understood the subject matter. Because of her guidance I was able to continue on to graduate school and a career in computer science. The lessons I learned stick with me today. She will be missed.

  • In the past few days, we faculty at The College of Wooster have been dealing with the loss of a great spirit. But now as the students begin to come back to campus for another academic year, there will be an immense void in Taylor Hall due to Dr. Byrnes’ passing. The students will miss her guidance in the classroom, her mentoring during the I.S. process, and her dedication to their success. Peace and condolences to her family, friends, and loved ones during this time, and strength to those at Woo who lost a source of inspiration in Taylor Hall.

  • Dr. Byrnes defines what a great LAC professor should be like: caring, knowledgable, insightful, and always delivery classes with great humor. Whenever I was in Taylor, it seems to be a custom of mine to have some random chitchats with Dr. Byrnes across the hall — guess new students won’t have that kind of luxury anymore.

    Goodbye Dr. Byrnes, wish I could “argue” with you once more.

  • I am deeply saddened to hear of Dr. Byrnes passing, and my thoughts and prayers are with her family, friends, and loved ones. Dr. Byrnes was my senior advisor for my Independent Study project at The College of Wooster. A great inspiration to me, she was one of the driving forces who encouraged me to continue in my pursuit of a Computer Science degree, against my own personal doubts, and who served as a mentor during my studies and beyond. She believed in my abilities and supported me during the beginnings of my career. I will always remember what Dr. Byrnes taught me. She will be greatly missed.

  • Dee…my buddy, my pal, my laugh partner, my competition for the guys 🙂 and someone I adored. Although we haven’t been in touch for years, I still feel an extra emptiness today. Love you babe.

  • It saddens me very much to hear of Dee’s passing. I remember her very well from Westerville High School.