Chuck Baryames, of East Lansing, died peacefully with dignity and surrounded by his family, at Bickford of Okemos on August 1, 2012, due to Alzheimer’s disease. He was 91. At the time of his death his wife, Rosalie was by his side. He and Rosalie were married for 62 years. He said his decision to marry Rosalie was the “best decision he ever made.” He was born February 14, 1921.
Mr. Baryames had five children: Cindy Basing (Tracy) of Plymouth, MI and Nanjing, China; Angie King (Dave) of Ann Arbor; Art Baryames of East Lansing; Katina Baryames (Steve Lowe) of Haslett; and Bonnie Gwozdecky (George) of Denver, CO. He was blessed with 7 treasured grandchildren: Ted and Alex Basing; Ashley and Chuck Baryames; Luke and Adam King and Adrienne Gwozdecky. He was also a much beloved uncle and godfather.
Mr. Baryames was preceded in death by his parents, Art and Helen Baryames, his six sisters, Jennie, Margaret, Delia, Marie, Christine and Angie and his one brother Chris.
Mr. Baryames was born in Chicago and moved to Lansing when he was 1 year old. As a young boy he worked alongside his father, shining shoes and selling newspapers on the corner of Washington and Washtenaw Streets in downtown Lansing. He said he did not mind working on Christmas day because of the generous tips he received from his customers. Throughout his life he kept a wooden shoe shine chair in his office to remind him of those important years.
In 1938, he enrolled at MSU on an ROTC scholarship and joined the SAE fraternity. In June 1942, he graduated from MSU with a business degree. He was commissioned as a Lieutenant in the Army and was a field artillery unit commander in the legendary 29th Division. On June 6, 1944 (D-Day), Mr. Baryames and the rest of the 29th Division crossed the English Channel headed to Omaha Beach, Normandy France. The brave infantry soldiers suffered massive casualties during the invasion which caused a bottleneck on Omaha Beach. Mr. Baryames’ unit, with the heavy field artillery guns was unable to land on the beach until D-Day plus 1. Less than 2 weeks later, he was wounded by a sniper’s bullet in the arm near St. Lo, France. He was awarded 2 Bronze Stars and a Purple Heart for his military service during the war.
In 1946, Mr. Baryames returned to Lansing. He and his brother began a drycleaning and laundry business called Baryames Cleaners. The first store was located in downtown Lansing. In the early 1970’s the business was expanded with the addition of Baryames Tuxedo. Today Baryames Cleaners is owned and operated by his son, Art and Baryames Tuxedo by his daughter Katina.
Mr. Baryames was a proud member of the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church and AH EPA. He served as the head of the Building Committee which resulted in the construction of the present day church.
Visiting hours will be from 2-4 p.m. and 6-8 p.m. on Sunday with a Trisagion service at 7:30 p.m. at the Estes-Leadley Greater Lansing Chapel located on Washtenaw Street in Lansing. A funeral service to honor Mr. Baryames’ life will take place at the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church on Monday, August 6th at 11:00 a.m. He will be laid to rest at the Evergreen Cemetery in Lansing. A luncheon will immediately follow at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church. Friends and family are all welcome to attend. The family wishes to sincerely thank the Bickford of Okemos staff for the gentle and attentive care given to our Dad. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church Iconography fund or Michigan State University scholarship fund.