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James Otto Byers

James Otto Byers

Male 1929 - 2015  (85 years)

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  • Name James Otto Byers 
    Born 25 May 1929  Edneyville, North Carolina, USA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Died 22 Jan 2015  Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Buried Fort Custer National Cemetery, Augusta, Kalamazoo County, Michigan, United States Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID I10437  Family Tree
    Last Modified 2 May 2018 

    Family 1 Sonya Kay Thurston,   b. 1 Feb 1934, Newport, Rhode Island, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 2 Nov 1999, Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 65 years) 
    Married 11 Jun 1955 
    Last Modified 2 May 2018 
    Family ID F3555  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 2 Betty J. ? 
    Married 2000 
    Last Modified 2 May 2018 
    Family ID F9238  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - 25 May 1929 - Edneyville, North Carolina, USA Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - 22 Jan 2015 - Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsBuried - - Fort Custer National Cemetery, Augusta, Kalamazoo County, Michigan, United States Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 
    Pin Legend  : Address       : Location       : City/Town       : County/Shire       : State/Province       : Country       : Not Set

  • Photos
    Otto Byers
    Otto Byers

  • Notes 
    • Byers, J. Otto, Jr. Otto was born May 25, 1929 in Edneyville, NC, the son of James Otto and Mattie Belle (Jones) Byers. He graduated from NC State College of Agriculture and Engineering in Agricultural Engineering in 1952. Graduated from Naval Officer Training School and serviced 3 years as a General Line Officer on a Destroyer. He married Sonya Kay Thurston on June 11, 1955 then worked as an Engineer for Bendix's Agriculture and Automotive Division for 3 years. He moved to Waterbury, CT and worked as a Project engineer for Vickers Marine and Ordinance Division for 5 years. Major accomplishment was designing a transfer at sea system for the Navy, starting with concept. All supplies going into Vietnam were transferred from ships to barges for entering port using this system. He relocated to Portage, MI in 1964 to work for Hydreco as a Design Engineering Section Leader until 1968. He moved to Manchester, NH as Manager of Engineering for the Instrument Division of Sanders Associates, and worked there for 5 years. He left Sanders Associates to be a partner in a new Hydraulic Components Company for a short time, but this arrangement did not work out, and he went to Commercial Shearing as Director of R & D and backup for the Vice President of Engineering. Stayed there until 1987 when a new President reorganized the V.P. level eliminating the position of V.P. of Engineering. He moved to the Kalamazoo area to work as manager of engineering and to help train their young engineers to be managers in the company for FEMA, Corp. in Portage for a short period, then as an Engineering and Engineering Management Consultant until retiring in 1999. He has 25 patents, one was the basis for a new Hydraulic Component Company and three were sold while working as a consultant. He was active in Fluid Power Societies for many years including President one year and being on the board of directors for several years. He was active in the National Conference on Fluid Power for many years including being the Conference Director for one year and on the board of directors from 1982 to 2000 including being chairman for one year. He was preceded in death by his first wife Sonya in 1999; and by three sisters, Juanita Roe, Marie Byers, and Louise Black. Otto married Betty J. Elliott in 2000, and lived in Portage for the rest of his life, where he was active in AARP and the Portage Senior Center for several years, and was a member of the Unitarian Universalist Community Church of Southwest Michigan. Surviving are his wife Betty Byers; a sister, Edna Steward; several nieces and nephews; two step-daughters, Sharon Marzolf and Stephanie Elliott; four step-grandchildren, Alison, Leigh, Lesley and Holly; seven step-great-grandchildren, Jonathan, Katie, Madelyn, Blythe, Tadd, Syndey and Reagen. In accordance with Otto's wishes cremation has taken place. A service to celebrate Otto's life will be held Saturday, January 31st, 11am at the Unitarian Universalist Community Church of Southwest Michigan (10441 Shaver Rd.) with Reverend Gregory Martin officiating. A private interment with military honors will be held at a later date in Ft. Custer National Cemetery. Memorials in Otto's memory may be directed to the Unitarian Universalist Community Church of Southwest Michigan. Arrangements entrusted to Langeland Family Funeral Homes.