BYRON, Donald Walter Age 68, passed away peacefully on June 12, 2021, surrounded by his loved ones. Donald was born on August 30, 1952 in Boston, MA to Walter and Ellen (O'Brien) Byron. He radiated positive energy and kindness, and made friends everywhere he went. Don had the best one-liners that always had everyone laughing and will forever be remembered as the ultimate coach and mentor. Don attended Watertown High School and was a member of the varsity basketball team. He played at Westfield State University and graduated with his degree in Education in 1974. Don taught mathematics in Mansfield for 35 years. Shortly after college, Don discovered his passion for coaching basketball and embarked on a lifelong career that he truly loved. He achieved success at Mansfield, Walpole, and Abington High Schools as a basketball coach and earned a Super Bowl victory as a Mansfield football coach in 1992, prior to coaching twelve basketball seasons at Oliver Ames in Easton. He always looked forward to game nights in front of a packed gym. This past season, even in the midst of some of his toughest days, he led his team to the Hockomock League Championship. Don earned many awards throughout his career, including Coach of the Year twelve times. He became a member of the 400 Win Club and was inducted into the MBCA Hall of Fame. He also coached AAU basketball for the prestigious Boston Blazers and BABC programs. Don was a great leader, and a role model and mentor to countless student-athletes and coaches. Don settled with his family in Easton, MA, where he raised his two children and was an involved member of the community. He directed the Easton Summer Slam league and the Fast Break Basketball School. He was also a certified basketball official and a volunteer coach at the Anguilla Basketball Camp. Don was a fierce competitor, playing in the Roxbury and Cranberry basketball leagues into his late 50's. Don traveled to the NCAA Final Four every year with his son and his colleagues, a cherished tradition for all who attended. He was an avid reader and enjoyed beginning his days reading the newspaper, golfing and chatting about sports with his friends, playing cribbage and trivia, going to BC games with his daughter, and most of all, vacationing with his family. He and his wife Christine loved trips to the Cape and trying new restaurants. They relished every extra minute together that retirement allowed them. Don cared endlessly for his family and passed on his passion for basketball to his children. Don's legacy of kindness, generosity, and perseverance will live on through his friends, family, and players. Don was predeceased by his parents Walter and Ellen (O'Brien) Byron, and his niece Casey Byron. Don was the beloved husband of Christine (Pucci) Byron, devoted father of Michael Byron and his fiancée Denise O'Shea, and Jennifer Byron of Easton, brother of Paul Byron of Clinton, brother-in-law of Joseph and Karen Kinosian of Norwood, cherished uncle of Mathew and Lauren Byron of Walpole, Kristopher Kinosian of Foxborough, and Kara Floyd and her husband Dave of Norwood, adored great-uncle of Kennedy, Zoey, and Jesse Floyd, and a teacher, coach, colleague, teammate, and friend to many. Visiting Hours will be held on Wednesday, June 16, 2021 from 4-8pm at the Kraw-Kornack Funeral Home, 1248 Washington St., NORWOOD. Funeral Mass will take place on Thursday, June 17, 2021 at 11:00am at St. Catherine of Siena Church in Norwood. The Celebration of Life will be held at the Olde Colonial Cafe in Norwood at 1:00pm, following the Burial at Highland Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, contributions in Don's memory may be made to The Jimmy V. Foundation, 14600 Weston Parkway, Cary, NC 27513, www.v.org
Visiting Hours: Wednesday, June 16, 2021, 4-8pm, at the Kraw-Kornack Funeral Home, Norwood, MA. Kraw-Kornack Funeral Home 1248 Washington Street Norwood, MA 02062 View the online memorial for Donald Walter BYRON
Published by Boston Globe from Jun. 14 to Jun. 15, 2021.