Frank Crockett Byers Jr. died Sept. 2, 2016, at his home in Florida, one day shy of his 97th birthday. He had told the family a few days earlier that he wanted to experience this milestone in the company of his beloved wife Jeanne, who died in 2013. Well played Frank, just like everything else that you did in life.
Born in Cedar Rapids to Myra and Frank Sr., he attended Franklin High School and the University of Iowa until enlisting in the war. He became a captain and navigator/bombardier in a B-25, and flew over 60 missions until being shot down over enemy territory. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross. He never was comfortable talking about those days, really, as he considered it merely something young men did.
After the war, he eventually returned to Cedar Rapids, where he and John Bickel formed Bickel & Byers real estate in 1947, which later became Byers & Happel.
He volunteered in numerous community organizations, and was president of the Board of Realtors, Exchange Club and Cedar Rapids Country Club.
More importantly, he was a good, kind, and humble person, who never failed to inspire his kids and grandkids. There's an old saying that "life begins at 40," but in his case, it was 70. That's when Frank took up windsurfing and skiing, later adding American history books, gardening, motor home road trips and sports cars. He purchased a BMW Z4 roadster when he was 90.
This unassuming, easy going man led an extraordinary life to the fullest, while always making family his No. 1 priority.
He is survived by sons, Craig (Susan), Scott (Janice) and David (Ellen); grandchildren, Heather Byers, Lindsey Byers, Craig Byers (Kaitlin), Erin Langdon (Britton); and two great-grandchildren, Thomas and Matilda Langdon.
Posted on Friday, 9 September 2016