Eugene J. Byron
Colorado Springs, Colo. — Eugene J. Byron Jr., 95 formerly of White River Jct., Vt., Concord, N.H. and Burlington, Vt., passed away peacefully on Friday, March 22, 2013, at home with his family at his side. He was born on June 11, 1917, in Littleton, N.H., the son of Florence and Eugene J. Byron Sr. Gene spent his early years in White River Junction and graduated from Hartford High School in 1935. At the age of 14 he worked for Western Union delivering telegrams by bicycle. On Jan. 14, 1940, he married Hazel Adams. Gene went on to become the plant clerk for Colonial Beacon Oil Company, which later became Esso, and eventually Exxon Mobil. During WWII he was a Supply Sergeant for the Vermont National Guard. In 1942, he became Plant Manager for Esso and continued to be promoted into various positions. In 1975, he retired from Exxon Mobil as the marketing specialist for all six New England states.
Upon retirement, Gene acquired and operated an Exxon station, used car lot, and auto parts store in Ashland, N.H. After Hazel’s passing, Gene sold his businesses and became the Executive Director of the Regional Gasoline Dealers Association. This position allowed Gene to lobby the N.H. and DC legislature for fairer practices that later would help small oil businesses.
Over the years Gene was also President of the Hartford Rod and Gun Club, part-time Deputy Game Warden for Vermont Fish & Game, and Producer / President of the Hartford, Connecticut Sportsman & Boat Show. He was a great promoter and able to secure such wonderful acts as Dick West of the Range Rider TV Series, George Reeves as Superman, Rochester of the Jack Benny Show and Smiley Burnette, sidekick of Gene Autry. He later became the president of the Sportsmen Show at the Hartland, Vt. County Fair.
Gene, fondly known as Bubba to his grandchildren, is survived by his wife, Mary Molli Byron of Colorado Springs; daughter, Carole Mattice Vorpahl and husband, Tom of Monument, Colo., daughter-in-law, Jane Byron of Holderness, N.H., daughter, Ann Carnell and husband, Richard of Essex Junction, Vt., son, Eugene Byron and wife, Diane of Henderson, Colo. and daughter, Teresa Byron Amen and husband, William of Arvada, Colo. Stepchildren include Dennis Sawyer and wife, Nancy of Lee, N.H., Frank Molli and wife, Lorrie of Colorado Springs and Anita Nobel and husband, Jim of San Jose, Calif. He is also survived by 21 grandchildren and 26 great grandchildren. Gene was predeceased by his parents, first wife, Hazel Byron, second wife, Rita Sawyer Byron, son-in-law, Lendall Mattice Jr., grandson, Shawn Patrick Byron, great-granddaughter, Sydney Leigh Aschenbrenner, sisters, Mary Oliver, Marge Thompson, and brothers, Kenneth and Raymond Byron. In 2012, he lost his beloved son, Barry Byron.
A vigil service will be held on Tuesday, March 26, at St. Peter Catholic Church, 55 N Jefferson Street, Monument, Colorado from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. A Memorial Mass will be held at St. Peter Church in Monument on Wednesday, March 27 at 11 a.m. In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting donations to the Marion House Soup Kitchen, 14 W. Bijou Street, Colorado Springs, CO, 80903. A graveside service and burial will take place at the Mt. Olivet Cemetery in White River Junction, Vt. on Saturday, May 4 at 11 a.m. Arrangements are by Knight Funeral Home.
The family would like to give special recognition to Evercare Hospice & Palliative Care, and all the wonderful employees Gene got to know, including Katrina, Kate and Tim; Anne and Brian at Griswold Home Care and to Cheryl at BEO. Many thanks also to all family members who devoted their time and love to make Gene’s last few weeks comfortable.