John Benjamin Byers

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

John Benjamin Byers, 84, of Nevada passed away on Dec. 25, following a courageous struggle with Parkinson's disease.

He was born on June 29, 1932, in Phoenix, Ariz., to Steven Benjamin and Rose Ann Overby Byers and graduated from Carthage High School in 1950. He married the love of his life Saundra June King on July 20, 1958, in Carthage.

John served his country in the U.S. Navy during the Korean War from 1951 to 1954. He served his state as an officer of the Missouri Highway Patrol for 29 years. He spent the first half of his career in Branson, then moved to Nevada in 1972 after being promoted to the rank of sergeant. He retired in 1987.

Affectionately known as "Big John" to some and "Sarge" to others, he enjoyed spending time with his family and friends and fishing. Growing up in the Great Depression and losing his father at an early age, he knew the meaning of hard times. So he made it his priority to be thrifty and a good provider, which he always was. He had a story for every occasion and was never at a loss for commentary on any subject.

John is survived by his daughter, Becky (Donny); and sons Steve (Anita) and Scott (Jennifer); grandchildren, Matthew (Kendra), Alyssa (Kurt), John David, Sarah and Emily, all of the Nevada area; sister, Rose Conner, of Carthage; sister-in-law, Gail Orr (Dave), of Joplin; niece, Cristy Bruton (Randy), of Carthage; and nephew, Rick King, of Carthage. He was preceded in death by his parents and his wife Saundra.

Funeral services will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, Dec. 29, at Ferry Funeral Home in Nevada. Visitation will be from 5-7 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 28.

The family suggests memorial contributions to the Vernon County Youth Fair in Nevada, Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City or to the charity of your choice.

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