James A. Byerly, or Bud, as he was known, passed away peacefully at home on Nov. 3, just weeks away from his 93rd birthday.
Bud was born in 1920 in Owosso, Mich. He attended Cranbrook Academy in Bloomfield Hills, Mich., and then the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, where he was a member of the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity and excelled in track and field before graduating in 1943. He then went to officer training school at Notre Dame and as an ensign served in World War II.
After the war Bud, attended Babson Business College in Boston and shortly after took over his father’s business, the JA Byerly Co., a grocery chain of some 44 stores in central Michigan. In 1951, Bud met and married Doris Brown. Bud and Brownie then settled in Owosso, where their four children were born. Bud sold his business in 1959 and the family moved to La Jolla, Calif., where he purchased a Piper airplane dealership and sold helicopters. As a former pilot, he was able to fly both fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters. He also became a real estate broker in California where he bought and sold both residential and commercial real estate.
In 1968, the family purchased a vacation home in Sun Valley, Idaho, where they enjoyed skiing and fly fishing in the summers. Bud and Brownie decided to retire and settle permanently in Idaho in the early 80s.
Sadly, his son Bruce preceded him in death on May 13, 2013. Bud is survived by his wife of 62 years, Doris; their children Jim, Tom (Alyse) and Amy Aiello (Peter); as well as his beloved grandchildren, Evan Byerly of La Jolla, Bridget and Nickolas Aiello of La Jolla, and Jake and Stewart Byerly, who reside in Oregon.
We will remember his endearing sense of humor, his appreciation of art and design, and his endless pursuit of trying to organize the garage—but most of all we will remember his devotion to family and the great joy he found in family gatherings. His smile on such occasions was constant and infectious, as were his witty vocals and spirited harmonica playing. He always loved to just jump in the car and take a scenic drive. Here’s to a long and dreamy drive down a country road, Dad—we love you.
Donations can be sent in Bud’s honor to Silverado Hospice, 3750 Convoy St., Suite 200, San Diego, CA 92111.