Walter Eugene Byerley Sr., 91, passed away at his home on Nov. 16, 2022, after a long battle with cancer.
Walter is survived by his wife of 71 years, Helen Jo Ann Byerley (nee Wayland) whom he married on Aug. 12, 1951, at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Columbia.
Walter enlisted in the United States Air Force in 1951 and after completing a tour of duty in Korea he attended the Air Force’s Officer Candidate School at Lackland Airforce Base in Texas graduating in 1957 . Walter and his family enjoyed posts across America and Italy and, after proudly serving his country for 20 years, Walter retired with the rank of Major.
Walter began a second career as a successful Lutheran Brotherhood (now Thrivent) Insurance Company representative.
He then felt called to the ministry, graduated from Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, and served as a Lutheran pastor in churches in Gillespie and Farmersville.
Walter is survived by his wife; daughter, Barbara (Danny) Heinlein; sons, Walter “Butch” and Kathy (Munton) of Columbia, Darryl and Rebecca (Blumhorst) of Alaska, Mark and Lisa (Zawisza) of Indiana; eight grandchildren, Chandra Heinlein, Jeremy and Jenna (Huch) Heinlein, Amy and Bob Kaempfe, Jason and Terrie (Herring) Byerley, Ryan Byerley, Garrett Byerley, Erica Byerley and Delania Byerley; six great grandchildren, Alex and Kasey (Ungerer) Kaempfe, Ellen Kaempfe, Makayla Byerley, Lucas Byerley, Macy and Addison Heinlein; brother and sister-in-law, Robert and Marge (Hoffman) Byerley.
Walter was preceded in death by his parents, Luther C. and Bertie V. (Snelson) Byerley of Dupo; brother and sister-in-law, Roger and Mary (Laurent) Byerley and brother Richard Byerley.
Services were held on Friday, Nov. 25, 2022 at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Columbia, with Pastor Stephen Krenz, officiating. Burial followed at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery in St. Louis, MO.
In lieu of flowers donations may be made to: Hospice of Southern Illinois, or to your church of choice.
Arrangements by Leesman Funeral Home in Columbia.