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Byron W. Haley


1926 - 2017 Obituary Condolences
Byron W. Haley Obituary
Our friend and beloved "family member" Byron Walter Haley passed away peacefully at the Fairbanks Pioneers' Home on Sept. 24, 2017, at age 90 after a life of love and passion for Alaska and the outdoors.
Byron was born Dec. 29, 1926, to Glen and Carrie Haley at home in Duluth, Minnesota. He lived in Minnesota until joining the Navy (1944). Byron served in the Navy for two years, attending boot camp in Great Lakes, Illinois, stationed in Tennessee, California, Guam and Minnesota, and becoming a coxswain (ships steersman). After the Navy, he worked for the Armour Meat Packing Plant in Duluth until, at 22, he and two friends headed for Alaska by way of the Alaska Highway in a 1.5-ton Ford flatbed truck, which they had converted into a rough camper for the April trip.
Byron arrived in Anchorage in 1948 and went to work for the Alaska Railroad's (ARR) warehouse, later transferring to the transportation arm as a student brakeman and was promoted to conductor in 1951, after which he served 15 years as yardmaster and general yardmaster in Fairbanks. He retired in 1978 after 30 years of ARR service.
In 1960, Byron married Adeline George. Together they built a home in Fairbanks and cabins on the Goodpaster River and in the Delta area. After Adeline's passing in 1982, he befriended Sally (Woods Evans) Hudson and her family and spent many summers in Manley Hot Springs, caring for the garden and prepping food for the long Alaskan winters; they also regularly traveled to her daughters' Yukon River fish camp and to the Lower 48.
Byron and Sally cared for each other until her passing in 2004. Their companionship led to Byron being adopted into Sally's extensive family. Numerous meals and happy times were shared at the home of Sally's granddaughter Joanna and her husband, Robbin Hams, and with other family members; Byron became great-grandpa to the children and hunting and fishing partner to the men. His fondest memories were of hunting for moose, caribou and buffalo, and salmon fishing trips made with Rob Hams, who became like a son to Byron. Byron loved to hunt and fish.
Byron continued to reside in Fairbanks and spent his golden retirement years in Alaska, serving as a board member and trustee of the Alaska Outdoor Council, honorary lifetime president of the Chitina Dipnetters' Association, and member of St. Matthew's Episcopal Church. One could also frequently find Byron enjoying a meal at The Diner. He made annual trips to the states to visit his sister and spent time with his family there. Byron lived his last two years at the Fairbanks Pioneers' Home, and also was consistently, diligently, and thoughtfully attended to and cared for by Sally's daughter, Lillian Evans.
Byron is survived by his sister, Patricia Herbert, and her children, Pamela, Kevin, Kirk and Sharine; and his sister, Jeanette Montgomery's children, Kim, Donald, Jr., Brian and Bobby. He also leaves a loving extended Alaskan family and friends here in the Interior. He is preceded in death by his wife, Adeline Haley; sister, Jeanette, and companion, Sally Hudson.
Byron loved the Lord. Please come and celebrate Byron's life with us Monday, Oct. 2, at St. Matthew's Episcopal Church, 1030 Second Ave., Fairbanks. A visitation is scheduled from 11 a.m. to noon, with a service following. There will be a potluck and tea after the service. Byron will be laid to rest in Manley Hot Springs (date and time to be announced during the Fairbanks services).
Arrangements are entrusted to Fairbanks Funeral Home.
Published in Daily News-Miner on Sept. 28, 2017
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