Clifford E. Byers, formerly of St. Marys, Ohio, died at 8:33 a.m. on Wednesday, December 29 at Carriage Court in Hilliard, Ohio For every day of his 92 years, his motto was : Make the day count! And that he did.
Cliff , who was known as John or Johnny to the people he grew up with, was born August 24, 1929, in New Matamoras, Ohio, the son of Joe and Leliah Mabel (Hall) Byers. He was the sixth of 6 siblings who grew up on a beautiful farm near the Ohio River. He graduated first in his class at Antioch High School in 1946 at the age of 16. Cliff went straight from the farm to the campus of The Ohio State University, where he hustled frat boys at the pool table to make money to eat. He later ran a bread route in Lima, Ohio, and was employed in Columbus by the Ohio Farm Bureau. While living in Hilliard and working full time for Ohio Farm Bureau, he returned to his studies at OSU and graduated with a degree in Business Administration in 1969. He and his family later moved to Auglaize County where he served as general manager of Auglaize County Landmark (Auglaize Farmers), from where he retired in 1992.
He proudly served his country in the Korean War as a staff sergeant. While serving, he developed a deep love for our Stars and Stripes, which he regularly saluted and recited the Pledge of Allegiance, But more importantly, he fell in love with his bride of 68 years, Margaret “Peg” Ellen Carey, whom he wed on November 21, 1953 at Seneca Castle Chapel in Seneca, NY. She survives. He was a loving husband, even putting up a note on their bathroom mirror reading “Good morning, lovely lady” so that she could be reminded of his love each morning.
Together they created a family: John, of Las Vegas, NV; Susan (Dale) Sutton of St. Marys; Sandra (Barry) Schumann of Westerville, OH; and Sharon (Jeff) Rehl of Upper Arlington, OH. They survive him as well as 13 grandchildren and 9 great-grandchildren. Nothing in the world made him happier than to be surrounded by family, and his family was overjoyed that he was able to enjoy one last Byers Christmas party just 10 days before his death,
Cliff was a natural athlete, playing softball for many years, but the game of golf was his greatest joy. He was an accomplished golfer, able to whack the ball well into his 80s. He also loved the Ohio State Buckeyes as a deeply devoted fan. He requested to be buried in a golf shirt and his OSU Dad hat will be with him too. Though there were grandchildren who became fans of That School Up North, he loved them with his whole heart anyway. Cliff was a very forgiving man.
He was beloved wherever he went. He had a propensity to smile and a gift for making friends, even in the time it took to wait in a waiting room together. He loved to tease, especially the nurses and aides at his assisted living facility, and laughing was his favorite. He passed his enormous sense of humor to all his children.
Cliff was preceded in death by his parents, Joseph and Leliah Mabel; his grandson Jeremy Sutton; and he was the last surviving sibling, having also been preceded in death by brothers Kenneth, Harris (Bud), and Harold; and sisters Marie Malling and Wilma Swartzbaugh.
His family will receive callers on Thursday, January 6 from 2-4 and 6-8 pm at the Miller Funeral Home, 1605 Celina Road (703 West), St. Marys, Ohio. His funeral service will begin at 10 am on Friday, January 7, at the funeral home, followed by burial with full military honors at Resthaven Memory Gardens, near Moulton, Ohio.
Condolences may be expressed and memories shared with his family at www.millerfuneralhome.net .
To send flowers to Clifford's family, please visit our floral store.