Herbert Francis Byers, 96 of Greenville, Ohio went to be with the Lord on Sunday February 4, 2018.
Francis was preceded in death by his wife: Mary (Ulsh) Byers; his parents: Ralph and Mary (Myers) Byers; his sister and brother in law: Velma (Byers) and Gerald Heck.
He is survived by his children: Donna (Byers) Christian of Arcanum, Ohio, and Merrill Byers of Greenville, Ohio; his grandchildren: Tracy Christian of Lancaster, Ohio, Kelly (Christian) and Rick Hardin of Miamisburg, Ohio, Brian and Angie Byers of Greenville, Ohio, Jason and Jennifer Byers of Greenville, Ohio, Tim and Jamie Christian of Dayton, Ohio, and Meredith (Byers) and Jordan Fader; his great grandchildren: Heather Harff of Nicolasville, Kentucky, Chelsie Harff of Lancaster, Ohio, Morgan Byers of Greenville, Ohio, Bryant Byers of Greenville, Ohio, Madison Byers of Greenville, Ohio, Jayce Byers of Greenville, Ohio, Braylin Burchfield of Greenville, Ohio, Jenna Christian of Dayton, Ohio, Taylor Christian of Dayton, Ohio, and Mason Fader of Greenville, Ohio; his great great grandson: Jackson Walker Seymour of Lancaster, Ohio. He leaves behind many nieces and nephews.
Francis was a lifelong resident of Darke County, Ohio. He was a farmer by trade.
In 1939 he started competing in the agriculture; horticulture section of the Great Darke County Fair. He was awarded many 1st place ribbons and rosettes for his vegetables, fruit, and grain entries. He was chosen twice to be Grand Marshall of the fair. In 2017 he reached a remarkable goal of 77 consecutive years of competition. An accomplishment his family was proud of. Francis also competed at the Ohio State Fair for 40 consecutive years from 1974 to 1993. There were awards for Best Display of Vegetables, Best Fruit Sweepstakes, and Best Display of Fruit awarded yearly. In 1993 he won all eight banners given.
In 1994 he was inducted into the Ohio State Agriculture Hall of Fame by Governor George Voinivich. He also received a Directors Award for Innovation and Excellence.
In 1994, along with Mr. Terry Sipple he started the Downtown Greenville Farmers market. At 90 they honored him with a Certificate of Recognition for Dedicated Service as a vendor at the Downtown Greenville Farmers Market.
In 2015 he was recognized for his dedication to agriculture by receiving the following awards: Outstanding Fair Supporter from the Department of Agriculture, Agriculture Achievement Award from Darke County, and Outstanding Achievement Recognition from both the 131st General Assembly of the House of Representatives. He was a member of Oakland Church of the Brethren.
Funeral services will be held on Friday February 9, 2018 at 10:00 AM at Zechar Bailey Funeral Home, Greenville, Ohio with Rev. Dr. Fred Bernhard officiating and will continue to Abbottsville Cemetery for his burial. The family will receive friends from 4:00 PM until 8:00 PM on Thursday February 8, 2018 at the funeral home. There will be a luncheon served at Oakland Church of the Brethren 8058 Horatio Harris Creek Road, Bradford, Ohio immediately following the funeral service. In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made to Oakland Church of the Brethren or State of the Heart Care.
Francis taught his family the value of hard work, dedication to the fields of agriculture; horticulture, and how to fish, something he enjoyed. He leaves behind a legacy that will live on in his children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. His love for his craft was matched only by his love for his family. He will be missed by many.
Dad, Papa, grandpa we Love you and will miss you always!!!
Condolences for the family may be expressed through www.zecharbailey.com