Col. JOHN ROBERTSON BYERS
Died July 29, 2012; he was 85. A 1951 graduate of the U.S. Military Academy, he served 31 years in the Army and was a veteran of WWII
, Korea and Vietnam. He held an MS in engineering from Georgia Tech. Following two commands in Germany, he was assigned to the Office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and in 1973 he was appointed chief of Armor Branch. Retiring in 1975, he became a manager for Data-Design Laboratories before buying the Prince Royal Gallery in Alexandria in 1986. He and his wife operated the gallery until selling it in 2004; he remained as director until 2008.
Byers led the effort to build Mount Vernon Hospital, a government center, fire station, library, and other needed services in the Mount Vernon area. His leadership as the planning commissioner for 21 years led to the revitalization of Richmond Highway. He played a key role in turning the old Lorton Prison into a thriving community. A member of the Mount Vernon Council's Planning and Zoning Committee for over 40 years, he served on numerous other boards and committees-six at the time of his death.
Survived by Peggy, his wife of 61 years; his children Susan, Leslie and Dan; nine grandchildren; two brothers, five sisters and a step-mother; many relatives and countless friends.
Visitation at Demaine Funeral Home, Alexandria, VA on August 13 from 4 to 8 p.m., memorial service on August 14 at 4:30 p.m. at Belvoir Chapel, Ft. Belvoir, VA, followed by a reception. Interment at Arlington National Cemetery at a later date.