Byron Birdsall
1937 - 2016
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Byron Birdsall

Byron Birdsall was born in Buckeye, AZ on December 18, 1937 and was raised in Herman, CA, a suburb of Los Angeles.

Byron graduated from Los Angeles Pacific High School and then obtained a History degree from Seattle Pacific College in 1959. He then earned a Master's Degree in Education from Stanford University and taught for four years in Sunnyvale, CA.

Byron married Lynn Sternberg in 1960 and they were accepted to a US Government program teaching English to African students in Kampala, Uganda which Byron called a "golden time". They loved it there and stayed for four years. It was in Uganda that Byron started painting professionally and selling pictures for $40 each which went a long way in 1967! They spent a year at Galu Beach in Mombasa and then decided it was time to go home.

They took their time returning to the US stopping in Bombay, Sri Lanka, Macau and Hong Kong. It was in Hong Kong that Byron fell in love with the work of Hiroshige and Hokusai and started copying their classic Japanese techniques.

After returning to Seattle, Byron got a job as art director of the public television station in Pago Pago, American Samoa. It was there that their son, Joshua, was born in 1973. After two years of heat and humidity, they decided again to return home to Seattle and Byron accepted a job as Creative Director for an advertising agency in Anchorage, AK. This was the beginning of his life-long love of Alaska, the beauty of the wilderness and the special people who live there.

Byron said the following:

"A dream come true. That is what Alaska has given to me. Incredible beauty for subject matter, and a receptive public have combined to allow me to do

what I love best, painting all day,

every day for more than 41 years."

Byron and Lynn's daughter, Courtenay, was born in 1976 and now lives with her husband, Trevor, in Skagway, AK. She has followed in her father's footsteps and is an artist in her own right. Joshua now lives in Minneapolis with his wife Amy and their two daughters, Sage and Thea Rose. He is a designer and builder of homes.

In 1998, Byron's first love, Lynn Sternberg, died of cancer. And in 1999 Byron reconnected with an old college sweetheart, Billie Jean Winship, and they were married for 17 years.

This marriage brought with it two adult children, Pamela Bell and Timothy Winship, and six grandchildren: Jeffrey, Lauren and Andrew Winship and Nicholas, Mikayla and Samantha Bell, who all called him Grandpa!

Byron's legacy is the stunning beauty of the Alaska landscape of mountains, water, city and sky. His moons over the mountains will forever be called a Birdsall moon. He painted what he saw and he loved it. He will be greatly missed.

A memorial Service will be held at Trinity Lutheran Church on Whidbey Island, December 16th, at 2:00pm. A service will be held in Anchorage at a later date. Remembrances to the American Heart Association.

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in The Seattle Times from Dec. 11 to Dec. 14, 2016.
Memorial service
02:00 PM
Trinity Lutheran Church
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18 entries
December 10, 2019
I was drawn to Byron's art in the Homer Art Shop Gallery during my first trip to Alaska in 2008. In six subsequent trips I sought his new art each time and acquired as many prints and originals as I could. No one, but no one, captured the incredible scenery and morning-long light of Alaska better than he. I recognize his unique style immediately. He had a romance with moonlight. I don't think of Alaska without thinking of him. Here it is in Dec 2019 and I just learned of his passing. What a legacy he leaves you!
Woody Herrod
June 20, 2017
I was one of Byron's students at Awalt High School in Mountain view, California.

He was my English teacher while in the 9th grade in 1961. What a wonderful educator he was! He was passionate about what he presented in the classroom which kept us all engaged and wanting to come to class each morning!!

He obviously left quite an amazing impression on a young 14 year old to have lasted for over 50 years.

I'm so sorry for your loss.

Sandy Woodward
January 8, 2017
Marc Medley
December 26, 2016
So sorry for your loss. Byron and his wonderful artwork will be missed by his many followers. I first met Byron in Anchorage in 1976 and bought my FIRST Birdsall. Many shows later,in both
Wn. and Ak. I feel he captured Alaska in his painting like no one else. He will be missed by all.
Kenneth Carlton
December 20, 2016
Byron was my third removed cousin. He was a soft spoken gentleman and was very friendly with all who approached him. He shall be missed, but will be warmly remembered. His art will last for an eternity.
Brian Birdsall
December 14, 2016
Sorry to hear of the passing of Byron. Our deep sympathy to you and your family during this difficult time. We appreciated his many talents and gifts. May the "God of all comfort" help you cope and give you strength and peace. 2Corenthians 1:3,4
December 14, 2016
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December 14, 2016
Sorry to hear of Byron's passing. He was in my class at LAPC and I remember his wonderful sense of humor and have seen some of his beautiful art work. Condolences to his family. Keep the memories close to your hearts.
Virginia Hadsell/O'Brien
December 13, 2016
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Cheri Wharton
December 13, 2016
December 12, 2016
I was a year behind in school at LAPC and was fortunate to have Byron as my campaign mgr while running for school office. We all knew he was an artist then. I am sorry for your loss. May memories comfort you.
Elaine Lynch Smith LAPC 56
December 12, 2016
So sorry for the loss of Byron. Many happy memories. Much love to you at this difficult time.
Polly Dines
December 11, 2016
May your memories of the wonderful times you shared with your loved one comfort you and your family today and always.
American Heart Association
December 11, 2016
Byron thanked me on occasion for coming to our home in Herman Ca. to read my comic books every saturday! Bryan was a joy to be around. I have some of his print art material. In recent years I have had my art exhibited as a featured artist. I last saw Byron in Seattle.
Bob Rochelle
December 11, 2016
Byron was a kind, gentle and talented man. We will all miss him.
mary robinson
December 11, 2016
I am sorry for your loss. I pray that your memories will fill you with love through this difficult time.
Carole Degnan
December 11, 2016
I am flooded with fond memories of this gentle giant. A gifted artist who leaves a powerful legacy. Love and prayers to all.
Roger Metz
December 10, 2016
We were so sorry to hear of your loss. The thoughts of many are with you at this time of sorrow.
Eric Robbins
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