Colonel James "David" Byerly
AGE: 49 • Kennett Square, PA
Colonel James "David" Byerly, 49, vice commander, 166th Airlift Wing, New Castle Air National Guard Base, Del., died Tuesday at his home. He was a command pilot with over 5,000 flight hours, including combat hours in Operations Just Cause, Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom. Col. Byerly entered the Air Force in 1986, graduating from the U.S. Air Force
Academy. He earned his pilot wings in 1987 and served on active duty for eight years. He then joined the Air Force Reserve where he served for 13 years before joining the Delaware ANG. During that time he earned his Juris Doctor degree and practiced law with Campbell Trial Lawyers for 15 years before retiring to accept his current position. He has flown C-130 aircraft throughout his entire career and has served as an expeditionary squadron commander on two separate occasions.
Dave was a kind, generous, loving friend, husband and father. His passions included flying, woodworking, furniture making, reading and spending time with his family. Dave also enjoyed a good bourbon and spending time with his many friends especially when "the garage door was open."
Dave is survived by his loving wife and best friend, Jessica, his son Hank, 15, his daughter, Lake, 12, step-children Sydney Nelson, 25 and Reed Nelson, 20, his brother Will of Annapolis, Maryland (wife Cathy and daughter Jennifer), and sister Shelley Heijerman of Martin, Michigan (husband Mark, daughters, Laura Beth and Pamela, son Thomas (wife, Sara). He will be deeply missed by his family, many friends and colleagues both in his military and civilian life.
A memorial service is being held at the New Castle Air National Guard Base, on Friday, February 7, 2014 at 1pm. In lieu of flowers donations can be made to The Wounded Warrior Project or the Delaware Food Bank. Longwood Funeral Home Of Matthew Genereux, Inc. www.longwoodfuneral home.com