Lewis John Byerly, 55, died July 4, 2013, in Homer, doing what he loved: working on a commercial fishing vessel. A memorial is at 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 10, 2013, at the Seafarers’ Memorial on the Homer Spit, with a potluck to follow.
He was born Oct. 15, 1957, to Donald Sr. and Betty (Pepera) Byerly in Duluth, Minn. His family moved to Frederic, Wis., in 1963, where Lewis attended Frederic schools and graduated in 1976. Lewis was very active in 4-H and other interests, and he was an excellent gymnast and pole vaulter in high school. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Superior, where he used his ability in athletics to coach gymnastics for the Special Olympics.
Through college Lewis worked in Homer as a commercial fisherman, returning many times over the years to visit old friends and to fish. Lewis livened the Indian Creek, Wis., area where his children Andrew and Emily Byerly grew to adulthood. He volunteered at many community events and was a member of the Lorain Fire Department, Indian Creek.
“Lewis was a good son, father, brother and friend, and he touched the lives of many with his smile, tender heart and generous spirit. He will be greatly missed by his children, family and friends, and we all have a Lewis story or two to share and remember,” his family said.
He was preceded in death by his grandparents, George and Evelyn Pepera and Frank and Mable Byerly; parents, Donald Byerly Sr. and Betty Byerly Webster; eldest brother, Don Byerly Jr.; and nephew, David Slater.
Left to mourn are his children, Andrew and Emily; stepchildren, Randy Ritchey and Sandi Ritchey; brothers, Francis (Vicki) Byerly and Blaine (Lori) Byerly; sisters, Susan (Bryce) Thomson and Beth (Warren) Wood; sister-in-law, Christine Byerly; nephews, Daniel Byerly, Joe Byerly and Fran Byerly; nieces, Sarah (Mike) Funk, Angela (Chris) Amundson and Paige Byerly; lifelong hunting partners Bruce Dudley and Ryan (Terri) Forstrom; and the Homer fishing community.