John Duane “JD” Byer, 88, of Staunton, Virginia passed away Tuesday, March 19, 2024, at Augusta Health Hospice of the Shenandoah, in Fishersville, Virginia.

He was born November 2, 1935, in Alleghany County, Virginia, the son of the late John Wesley Byer and Muriel Marie Helder Byer.

Mr. Byer retired as a Civil Superintendent with Casey Industrial Inc. He was a proud veteran of the United States Air Force.

He graduated from Covington High School and Chicago Polytechnic Institute.  He served a Tour of Duty in 1955 at the Ben Guier Air Force Base in Morocco, North Africa, and a Tour of Duty in 1957 at the Royal Air Force Base, Brize Norton, England. After active duty, he served in the Air Force Reserve as a SSGT. He was a member of the American Legion Post #4 in Covington and a lifetime member of the Sampson AFB Veterans Association. Following his military service, he worked in residential and commercial construction. After working at the Virginia Power Pumped Storage Station in Bath County, Virginia, J.D. traveled to multiple states with Flour Daniels and Casey Industrial, retiring as a Civil Superintendent from Casey Industrial. He was a past member of the Mountain Grove United Methodist Church where he was a Sunday School Teacher, Lay Leader, Lay Speaker, and actively participated in special services and other activities. After moving to Staunton, he attended the Greenville United Methodist Church. He was an avid outdoorsman who enjoyed hunting and fishing and was a member of the McLaughlin Hunt Club in Mountain Grove. He was a loving husband, father, grandfather, and great grandfather.

He is survived by his wife, Nobel McLaughlin Byer, his wife of 64 years, whom he married on August 7, 1959; a daughter, Dana Byer German & husband Robert “Chip” of Charlottesville, Virginia; grandson, Phillip Duane Abbott and wife Shannon of Charlottesville; great granddaughter, Nora Marilyn Abbott of Charlottesville; sisters, Muriel Louise Byer of Clemmons, North Carolina, and Jessie Ellen Byer Turner Rose of Mechanicsville, Virginia; brothers-in-law, E.B. Reynolds of Clemmons, North Carolina, and Donald Morris in Thaxton, Virginia; sisters-in-law, Shirley May McLaughlin of Roanoke, Virginia, and Leta Foster McLaughlin of Covington, Virginia; a number of nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by two sisters, Mary Sue Byer Reynolds and Jean Marie Byer Morris; a niece who was raised as a sister, Gloria Jean Byer Topping; two brothers, Charles Byron Byer and Stephen Kent Byer.

A funeral service will be conducted at 2:00 p.m., Monday, March 25, 2024, at McLaughlin & Young Funeral Home with Reverend Sam Felton officiating. Interment will be in Warm Springs Cemetery.

Pallbearers will be Phillip Abbott, Steve Byer, Vernon “VP” McLaughlin, Harper Douglas McLaughlin, Steve Gibson, Frankie Chestnut, Dana Pritt, Ricky Shinault, and Bart Ailstock.

The family will receive friends one hour prior to services from 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. at the funeral home.

While flowers are greatly appreciated, you may choose to make donations to the Warm Springs Cemetery, c/o Bruce McWilliams, 277 Cedar Field Lane, Millboro, Virginia 24460 or St Jude’s Childrens Hospital, 262 Danny Thomas Place, Memphis, TN 38105.


  1. So sorry to hear about JD. We had lots of fun trying to learn how to play 42. I think I finally figured some of it out. Praying for everyone. Nobel if you need us, we are just a phone call away.

  2. Thoughts and prayers are with you, Dana and family in the loss if your father. May God be with you and help you through this difficult time.

  3. My wife, his niece, Debbie and I, as well as our children have fond memories of Duane. We visited with him and Nobel in Mountain Grove and he was always interesting to socialize with. I especially remember when he gave my son a ride on his tractor and letting hummingbirds fly around us on his back porch and land on my son’s fingers. We enjoyed meeting up for reunions and hearing him tell us stories of his experiences. We will surely miss Duane, May you rest in peace and solitude.

  4. Nobel and Family; Kathy and I wish to offer you our deepest and most sincere condolences. JD was a man I thought the world of. He had such a huge heart and calming demeanor. He taught me so much about work and life. I will always remember him for all he did for me in my career. He was a special person and I will never forget him. May he rest in peace. With love, Troy Jones

  5. So sorry for your loss prayers for family

  6. From Delaware — Nobel, sending my deepest sympathy for your loss. JD was a wonderful man and we so enjoyed meeting you both when we were down the farm lane at our place. I knew you had moved to Staunton but know your years on Back Creek have given you previous memories.

  7. Nolel, I Just saw that Duane had passed away, so sorry to hear that. It’s a hard adjustment for you and Dana. Thank God we still have memories of our lives with us. Prayers!


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