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Raymond J. “Ray” Byrnes

Posted August 29, 2014 in Obituaries, West Des Moines

September 26, 1922 – August 27, 2014

Ray Barnes

Ray Barnes

Raymond J. “Ray” Byrnes, 91, passed from this life on Wednesday, August 27, 2014 at Ramsey Village in Des Moines. A Memorial service will be held 11 a.m. Tuesday, September 2, 2014 at McLaren’s Chapel in West Des Moines, where family will greet friends one hour prior to the service. A private family burial will be at Resthaven Cemetery.

Ray was born on September 26, 1922 to John and Gertrude Byrnes in Vail, IA. He graduated from Ames High School in 1942, and then actively served in the U.S. Army Air Force from 1943 to 1946. Ray was united in marriage with Dona J. Sauvain in 1945 in Pratt, KS. Upon completion of his military service, Ray attended Iowa State Teachers College (University of Northern Iowa) earning his undergraduate degree, and later received his master’s degree from the University of Iowa.

For nearly 40 years, Ray served as a teacher, coach, and school administrator. He retired in 1989, after 17 years of service to Valley High School in West Des Moines as Athletic Director. During those four decades in Kalona, Glidden, Jefferson, and West Des Moines, Ray received many honors and awards, including being inducted into the Iowa High School Football Coaches Hall of Fame. After retirement, Ray spent countless hours working at Veterans Auditorium and at two Des Moines area auto auctions. He and Dona enjoyed their lake home at Sun Valley Lake in Ellston, IA, as well as traveling extensively throughout the United States.

Ray is survived by two sons, Matthew (Susan) and Timothy (Jan) all of Johnston, and a sister, Betty Consbruck of Florida. He was preceded in death by his wife of 60 years, Dona in 2005, his parents, sister, Florence, and brother, Francis.

Ray’s family would like to thank the staff at Iowa Lutheran Hospital and Ramsey Village for all of their compassionate care given to Ray and his family.

In lieu of flowers, the family has respectfully requested that memorials be directed to the Iowa Hall of Pride, 330 Park Street, Des Moines, IA 50309.

Online condolences may be made to

Information provided by:
McLarens Resthaven Chapel and Mortuary
801 19th Street
West Des Moines, IA 50265

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