Michael 'Mike' Byrnes Was Longtime WCM Editor
Michael "Mike" Byrnes, longtime editor of Woodall's Campground Management, died Jan. 14 near his home in Chicago after suffering a fatal heart attack. He was 72.
Byrnes was a journalist for 40 years. He was well known in the RV park and campground business as he traveled to numerous shows and conventions on behalf of the publication, which was based in Chicago for decades.
"He was a very committed editor," said his widow, Marsha Byrnes, who herself was a writer and often wrote for the magazine. "I think he was a brilliant editor. He developed so many stories on his own and had many contacts and free lance writers he worked with. He really worked at his trade, developing stories and contacts."
Linda Profaizer, who was president of Woodall Publications Corp. and Byrnes' boss, called him "a great guy." Though company records are hard to locate now after all these years, Profaizer estimated that he worked for Woodall's for 15 to 20 years.
Byrnes and his future wife first met more than 20 years ago and were married in 1992. Byrnes left the magazine in 2000 after it was purchased and the Woodall's corporate offices were moved to Ventura, Calif. The magazine is in its 43rd year of publication.
In recent years, Byrnes worked for the city of Chicago on a part-time basis coordinating the volunteers who helped senior citizens on financial and insurance matters. "It was some of his happiest work," she said.
Byrnes was a Navy veteran and held a master's degree.
At his memorial service on Jan. 24, the following information appeared on a memorial card:
"Mike would not want us to grieve for long. If he were here he'd be telling jokes and making awful puns. He was a funny guy, also wise, compassionate, above all honest. He hated injustice and ignorance. Most recently, he volunteered long hours to help Chicago's senior citizens. Professionally, he was an editor and writer for over 40 years. He was content with his life and at peace when he died. Michael J. Byrnes — the original good guy."