Byron Norman Page
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Byron Page was born in a small town in Montana on January 11, 1918. When still very young, during hard economic times, Byron moved to Seattle with his parents as they searched for work. Byron discovered his own natural talent for tennis at Broadway Playfield on Seattle's Capital Hill where he and neighborhood boys played endlessly, often with balls so worn and dirty that they barely bounced. Byron worked his way through the University of Washington where he ranked number one on the Husky tennis team. With the start of the Second World War, Byron enlisted in the U.S. Army and was stationed in remote Saldovia, Alaska (population 286), decoding secret military messages and working in the local canneries in his spare time.
After returning from the war, Byron completed his studies at the UW and became a CPA which were the tools of his trade throughout his working life. Through the sponsorship of Vic Denny, Byron joined the Seattle Tennis Club where he served a President during the mid 1950s. The high point of his tennis career (in the eyes of his young sons) was when Byron played as Pancho Gonzales's doubles partner in an exhibition match at the Seattle Tennis Club.
Byron fell in love with his fraternity brother's younger sister, Jane Izzard, who was a freshman at the UW when Byron was a senior. They were married in 1942, on the eve of his joining the Army, and remained devotedly married for 70 years. Byron loved sports of many kinds and spent long hours hitting ground balls to his sons, shooting baskets with them, teaching them how to hit a back hand and not to lose their temper playing golf. And always always to keep their eye on the ball.
Byron died peacefully in his sleep on February 10 at age 95 after having one last dinner with Jane. Byron was an open-hearted and loving husband, father and friend. His family included his wife, Jane, his sons Richard and his wife Sandra, Norm and his wife Marissa, his four granddaughters Jessica and her husband Matt, Laura, Rachel and Rebecca, his two grandsons Steve and Alex, his great grandsons Alex and Jude, and a third great grandson Logan on the way. He had the best life a man can have.
Published in The Seattle Times on February 24, 2013