Maryalice Byrnes Death: Developmental Disabled Adults Advocate Maryalice Byrnes Dies Unexpectedly, Cause of Death
Maryalice Byrnes, an Administrator of New Jersey Parents of Developmentally Disabled Adults, has passed away on Thursday, February 3, 2022. Her death was announced by family members through an online post.
Maryalice Byrnes was born in 1945 in Boston, Massachusetts. Her life was devoted to her son Todd, her family, her friends, the hundreds of students she taught during her more than 30-year career, and to advocacy work on behalf of Developmentally Disabled Adults and their families.
Maryalice earned an undergraduate degree from Glassboro State College (now Rowan University) and a master’s in education from East Stroudsburg University. Her teaching career, which spanned more than 30 years, was entirely devoted to the Randolph Public Schools in Randolph, New Jersey.
After retiring from teaching, Maryalice turned her attention to helping families like her own. She was acutely aware of the stigma and isolation that often accompany disability, and recognized early the potential power of social media to bring families together to share information, advice, and coordinate advocacy to improve services for Developmentally Disabled Adults.
Maryalice wanted people like her son Todd to be treated with respect and dignity, to be able to participate in work, public life, and family life, and to be appreciated as individuals with rights, feelings, thoughts, fears, joy, unique points of view, and many gifts.
Maryalice played a central and essential role in the lives of many of her close family members — she cared for her mom (Norma Martin Byrnes Fitch, who died in 2003) and was a beloved sister, aunt, and godmother.
Maryalice’s strength, smile, vitality, humor, energy, fortitude, generosity, and loving ways were a rare and immensely appreciated combination that will continue on through those who are forever touched by her.
Leave a Reply