Margaret Jane Byers passed away peacefully on August 4, 2022, in her home in Hollister, California. She was just two weeks short of her 97th birthday when she died.
Margaret was born in Long Beach, California, to Victor N. and Laura Jane Sevier on August 17, 1925. She had a brother, Robert Sevier, who was five years older than her. The family moved to Dinuba, California, when Margaret was nine years old. She attended Dinuba High School and Fresno State College where she majored in music and received a teaching credential. After graduating, she taught music at elementary schools in the towns of Tulare and Sultana.
While teaching at the Sultana school, Margaret met a fellow teacher, Gordon James Byers, and they fell in love and were married on April 6, 1952. Their first child, Lucinda Jane (Cindy) was born in 1953, followed by Jonathan James (Jon) in 1955 and Timothy James (Tim) in 1957.
In 1961, Gordon accepted a position as an English teacher at the high school in Hollister and the family moved there. Margaret was a stay-at-home mom but as her children got older, she worked as a substitute teacher for many years. She was also principal and teacher at Cienega School for many years before she and Gordon retired around 1979.
Margaret and Gordon were always active in their churches; in First Baptist of Dinuba, then Hollister United Methodist, and finally First Presbyterian of Hollister which later became Christ Fellowship. They owned a house trailer and enjoyed traveling with the children to many states in the U.S., to Canada and to Mexico. After their retirement, they served as volunteers in various campgrounds of the U.S. Forest Service in California, at the Wycliffe Bible Translators base in Tucson, Arizona and at the JAARS center in Waxhaw, North Carolina. Margaret also was a regular volunteer at Hazel Hawkins Hospital.
Margaret was a good seamstress, a great cook and a wonderful hostess for family get-togethers on special occasions. She loved gardening and taking care of her yard. She and Gordon frequently could be seen walking around town as they had a goal of walking two miles a day to keep in good health. She was intelligent, generous, strong, a good neighbor and friend to many, a believer in salvation through Jesus Christ, a loving mother, grandmother, and aunt to her children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews who survive. Margaret is survived by her daughter Cindy and her husband Jim Boyer of Pucallpa, Peru, son Jon of Hollister, son Tim and his wife Wendy of Claremont, CA, grandson Ian Byers-Gamber of Los Angeles, grandson Joshua Byers and granddaughter Catherine Byers of Great Falls, Montana, and her dog Benji.
Margaret’s ashes will be buried in the San Joaquin Valley National Cemetery where her husband Gordon’s ashes were inurned in April of 2019. There will be no memorial service per Margaret’s wishes, but friends and family are invited to express their sentiments and memories on the Black-Cooper-Sander Funeral Home obituary page. Instead of flowers, the family prefers that a donation be made to Christ Fellowship of Hollister or Wycliffe Bible Translators in Margaret’s memory.