Donald Byers

Bozeman, Montana

Dec 8, 1936 – Apr 29, 2017 (Age 80)


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Donald Ray ByersBozeman —Donald Ray Byers, 80, founding Executive Director of the Montana Special Olympics, passed away April 29 of natural causes at his home in Bozeman. He was the son of Joseph Toole and Syble Clara Byers, born on December 8, 1936, in Helena.After graduation from Jefferson...

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I knew Don later in his life when he married my Aunt Marcia. He truly was a sweet heart of a man. Even in the last few years when he wasn't well, he still had humor, grace and such love for Marcia. She took good care of him:) RIP Don!

Sloan, and to the rest of your family.. Don was one of the finest. He gave me an opportunity to come back to Great Falls and be a part of the "passion" he so much enjoyed - special Olympics ". He provided an opportunity for me that has been a part of my life. There are so many wonderful experiences that were added to my life. Had it not been for your dad the fullness of my life would not have been reached. You had a gift in the father I know you sincerely loved.

A true gentleman who was well regarded in the state of Montana. I had the pleasure of knowing Don several years ago.

Duane Voeller
Mesa, AZ

I have a strong sentiment for ones who put their hearts into avenues of growth, physically and emotionally to our youth in Special Olympics! Donald's efforts were dearly appreciated and are a memorial to him.

To Marcia and family, Sloan and Brett. :
I know my father enjoyed his friendship with Don. He shared a lot of stories with me when we talked. Marcia I so enjoyed him chuckling with my dad as we moved stuff to storage or house. Don was such a wonder man and I am very glad I made to trip over with dad to see him. Love hugs and prayers to all of the family Ronda Eustance

I am so sorry to hear of Don's passing.....he was always friendly & personable......a great salesman & champion for Special Olympics. I had known Don since our early days in special education. One year, one of my young students passed away suddenly & I was inconsolable. Don understood my grief and went with me to her funeral. That was the kind of person Don was. We will miss him.......RIP Marge

What a fine gentleman. I knew Don for 40 years, starting as a School Psychologist while he was the Principal for the Special Education Center. He then went on to run the Special Olympics program. Truly a dedicated friend to special need people. Very kind and compassionate. A very good salesman in his lifetime. The world lost a good one. Thoughts and prayers to his family.

Don recruited me onto the board of the Montana Special Olympics which is still one of the great "pay it forward" assignments in my life.
His utter belief in the importance of the project was inspiring and it became a national model.
He was such a good guy---who touched Montana and Montanans indelibly.

Never has there been a man in Montana to match the unselfish passion for changing the world of Special Olympics athletes and their families than Don Byers. I have personally witnessed the transformation of these great community citizens from being institutionalized to growing up to become wage earners, teachers, and amazing mentors, thanks to Don's tenacity of making Eunice Shriver's vision for their potential a reality throughout Montana. How do we adequately say Thank You and Great Job? You...