June 6, 1950 – February 1, 2018

Larry J. Byers of Keizer, Oregon passed away on February 1, 2018. He was born June 6, 1950 in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, as a member of the Cherokee Nation.

L. Byers

Larry grew up in Southern Oregon, where he met and married his wife, Suzanne (Petsch) Byers in 1967. He attended Southern Oregon College and Portland State University where he earned his Bachelor of Science in Education and his Master’s Degree in Educational Administration. Larry moved his family to Keizer, Oregon when he began his career at Chemawa Indian School in 1976. Larry’s passion for the youth he served spanned several decades, during which time, he continued to teach and coach football, wrestling, basketball and baseball. Larry was known for his dedication to his students, and is remembered for greeting them each morning as they arrived for class, honoring his athletes at the Exchange Club, and guiding them to find success in their lives. He was an innovator in this way, and worked with the university system to enable his scholars’ pathways to a higher education. Larry was proud to have capped his career as a Supervisor/Superintendent at Chemawa after a 30-year tenure. He was also instrumental in establishing Bureau of Indian Affairs national educational policy before he retired.

Larry’s love for his family was paramount. He talked with pride about his children, and his grandchildren were the loves of his life. Annual spring break getaways, visits to Disneyland or time spent with the grandchildren visiting their Nona and Papa were the highlights of his life. With the move from Southern Oregon, Larry made new relationships but never parted with the “Bunch,” a group of steadfast friends. The Bunch have gathered since their college years for an annual retreat, playing softball, golf and enjoying fun times reliving many memories. Larry was a long-time member of the Salem Golf Course, spending many a day out on the green or sharing stories in the clubhouse. He was also a member of the U.S. Bowling Congress and bowled at the local, state and national levels.

Larry and family were members of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Salem.

Larry is survived by his wife, Suzanne; his mother, Norma, and sister, Carol; son Joey and his wife, Yvonne, and their children; and daughters Jodi and Janelle.

His father, Joe, preceded him in death.

A memorial will be held on May 20th at Salem Golf Course from 2:00 to 4 p.m.

Virgil T. Golden Funeral Service is in care of arrangements.