Reathel "Rip" E. Byers
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Reathel "Rip" E. Byers, 88, of Greenwood and former long-time resident of Boonville, passed away on March 12, 2013.
Rip was born March 17, 1924 in Warrick County. He graduated from Tennyson High School in 1942, and served in the U.S. Coast Guard from 1943 through 1945. He worked for Peabody Coal in Lynnville from 1952 until his retirement in 1989. Rip was a proud member of the United Mine Workers of America Local 9926. He was a 57-year member of the Masonic Lodge, serving as Past Worshipful Master of Strangers Rest Lodge #240 in Boonville. In addition, Rip was a member of the Scottish Rite, the Hadi Shrine (Evansville), the Hadi Shrine Legion of Honor, the American Legion, and the V.F.W. He also served as a long-time Precinct Committeeman for Boon 8.
Rip joined the Hemenway Presbyterian Church (Boonville) in 1951 where he was a very loyal and active member. After his move to Greenwood, he attended Mt. Auburn United Methodist Church and Center Grove Presbyterian Church.
Sports were very important to Rip, both as a participant and a spectator. He was an accomplished baseball and basketball player. He received a scholarship offer from Butler University to play basketball, but chose instead to serve his country in the Coast Guard. He loved to follow IU basketball and the St. Louis Cardinals. He had a life-long passion for horses. He paraded his many beautiful white horses all over the country for over 45 years as a member of the Hadi White Horse patrol.
Rip is survived by his devoted wife of 63 years, Helen (Allen); daughters Carol Byers (Jan Van der Brugge, his two children and his four grandchildren: Fiona, Allegra, Nic, and Lilly) and Pam Siefers (George Roach) and her son Clint Byers Siefers, and son Jeff Byers (Diane) and their daughter Lydia; sister Brenda (Hart) Rudolph (Gerrill); brothers Lynn Ralston (Gail) and Carl Ralston (Brenda). Rip was preceded in death by his parents, Lenos and Bernice Hart; siblings Ervin Byers, Harold Hart, Charlotte Hart, and Jim Ralston.
Visitation will be held Monday, March 18 from 2:00 - 7:00 p.m. at Koehler Funeral Home in Boonville with a Shrine Walk-Thru at 6:30 PM and a Masonic memorial service starting at 7:00 p.m. The funeral service will begin at 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, March 19, preceded by visitation starting at 9:00 a.m. Burial will follow the funeral service at Maple Grove Cemetery with military rites by the Warrick County Veterans Memorial Services.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial contributions in the name of Reathel "Rip" E. Byers can be made to the Indiana Masonic Home Foundation Inc., 525 N. Illinois, Indianapolis, IN 46204 or the Hemenway Memorial Presbyterian Church, 124 E. Sycamore, Boonville, IN 47601.
Condolences and any special remembrance may be made online at www.koehlerfuneralhome.com
Published in Courier Press on Mar. 15, 2013