PHYLLIS ELIZABETH BYER, passed away on May 16, 2005. She was born in Indianapolis, Indiana on February 11, 1925, and was adopted in August of that year by the Reverend and Mrs. Carl G. Adams. She had beautiful red hair and warm hazel eyes. In 1946, at a church party she first met her husband to be who had matching red hair. They were both aware of an attitude that red heads couldn’t get along with one another, but on August 29, 1948, she married to her surviving husband, Edward Lavon Byer, and proved that old adage wrong after 59 years of marriage. From the beginning she was loved and admired by the entire Byer family.
In 1949, her motherly endeavors began. She raised three children, Jonathan, Cynthia and Gregory, all of whom survive her, and despite their red hair, she maintained a wonderful sense of humor! She was devoted to her family, putting her children and six grandchildren, Britta, Megan, Christopher, Maxwell, Elizabeth and Lucas, and two daughters-in-law, Cathie and Jill, at the center of her life.
As a lifetime Methodist and the daughter of a prominent Simpson United Methodist pastor, she supported her faith by both action and conviction. She was ever-present at church functions and activities and she volunteered frequently. She made many lifetime friends at the church, many of whom supported her during her illness.
She had many talents. She loved music, and she played the alto saxophone and the piano competitively, winning ribbons at music contests as a young woman. She enjoyed many creative hobbies including sewing, home decorating, flower arranging, gardening, cooking and bowling.
She whole-heartedly joined her husband in his love of all things to do with railroads. Often, family trips were centered around traveling by train within the United States and other countries, which she dearly loved. She became the focal point of activity in two railroad enterprises; Westwood, which produced a line of unique model railroad kits and the New Haven and Lake Erie, an operating tourist steam railroad in New Haven, Indiana, which features the popuIar “Pumpkin Train” every fall.
In her later years at the New Haven and Lake Erie, thousands, both, young and old, were always greeted by her warm, loving smile. She also put her decorating talents to use in the restoration of two elegant executive railcars, which were enjoyed by the Byer family for years. She loved these activities, took great pride in these family efforts, and did more than her share to make each a success.
She was an active member of the Alpha Delta Omega sorority. While in the sorority, she served several terms as the chapter president, was involved in many community activities, and made several life long friends who also were very supportive of her during her sudden illness. She embarked upon a life-long quest to discover her ancestral heritage, which lead her on many adventures and eventually culminated in a trip to Scotland where she proudly visited her family castle. While in Scotland she visited the ancestral family ruins on Gigha Island. Also at this point in her life she met many aunts and cousins she hadn’t before known, all of whom warmly greeted her. She was also very proud of the fact that her heritage was traced to the Revolutionary War. This allowed her membership in the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR). She had two things around which she centered her life, her faith and her family. All who knew her admired and loved her. She will be deeply missed.
Service was Saturday, May 21, at Klaehn, Fahl & Melton, Winchester Road Chapel. Burial followed at Lindenwood Cemetery.
Memorials to the Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease Foundation, P.O. Box 5312, Akron, Ohio, 44334.
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