|Birth: ||Jun. 9, 1916|
|Death: ||Nov. 6, 1970|
District of Columbia
District Of Columbia, USA
William Albert Byers, the Fruita area's best known farmer and recognized nationally for his leadership in the development of agricultural cooperatives, died unexpectedly at midnight Friday in a Washington, D.C. hotel room, apparently the victim of a heart attack. He was 54 years old.
Mr. Byers left here Wednesday to attend meetings of two organizations for which he served as director, the National Rural Electric Cooperative Assn., and the National Rural Utilities Cooperative Finance Corporation.
He had spent the evening with friends, returning to the hotel and placed a long distance call to his wife. He was stricken as the call was put through.
Notable for his success in farming operations which combined livestock feeding with the cultivation of grain and sugar beets, Mr. Byers had also dealt successfully with alkali and seepage troubles which plague farmers along Big Salt Wash.
He was Mesa County's champion beetgrower in 1957, and for many years ranked among the top ten.
In addition to his farming activities, he had devoted countless hours of time to a number of organizations in many fields.
He had been a director of Grand Valley Rural Power Lines Inc. since 1950, a director and president of the Fruita Consumers Cooperative Assn. since 1947, a director of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Assn. since 1963, director of the Ninth District Farm Credit Board of Wichita since 1967, and a member of the board of governors of the National Agriculture Hall of Fame.
In former years, he had served as a director of the Grand Junction Drainage District, director and president of the Colorado Rural Electric Assn., director of the Mesa County Beet Growers Assn., director of Farmland Industries of Kansas City, and director of the Farmers Elevator Mutual Insurance Co. of Des Moines, Iowa.
Outside the agricultural field, he had served as Republican precinct committeeman and as delegate to several state Republican conventions; as director of the Mesa County Red Cross; as noble grand of the Fruita Odd Fellows; master of the Masonic Lodge; and patron of the Eastern Star. He was a member of the Methodist Church.
He was a lifelong resident of the area, born at Fruita on June 9, 1916. He attended schools there and Grand Junction Junior College, later Mesa College.
He married Anna Mae Wallace at Fruita on June 4, 1944.
Surviving in addition to his wife are a son, William F. Byers, who is a senior at Colorado State University; his mother, Mrs. Guy Gerry of Rangely; two brothers, including Leland of Rangely; a sister, Mrs. Joyce Sommerville of Fruita; and his grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. S. N. Kilby of Fruita.
Frederick Albert Byers (1886 - 1941)
Minta Ethel White Byers (1897 - 1981)
Anna Mae Wallace Byers-Keleher (1916 - 1994)
William Albert Byers (1916 - 1970)
Max Reed Byers (1918 - 1958)*
Leland John Byers (1919 - 1999)*
Joyce E. Byers Thorpe (1924 - 2010)*
Gordon Frederick Byers (1940 - 2014)*
Plot: Block ED, Lot 33 West, Space 8
Created by: Joanne
Record added: Apr 16, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 51201608