GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

December 27, 2012

Thomas W. Byers, 89


Gloucester, MA — Thomas William Byers, 89, of Gloucester, MA, passed away on Christmas, December 25, 2012, at home, in the loving attendance of his wife of 51 years, Ann (Norman) Byers and son, John Byers and his wife Mary.

Tom was born in Louisville, KY, on May 13, 1923, the son of Gladys (Grove) Byers and Gardiner K. Byers.

Following an early interest in music (sparked by years with an influential choirmaster/organist) and a talent for woodworking and mechanical design, he apprenticed at the Pilcher Organ Co. in Louisville and later with Chet Raymond of Princeton, NJ.

In 1948 he founded the Andover Organ Co., in Methuen, MA. He was joined as a partner a few years later by the (late) Charles B. Fisk, who took over the company when Tom left in 1958 to return to Louisville. (Fisk left in 1961 to found C.B. Fisk Co. and build organs in Gloucester, MA.)

Tom worked as a draftsman for American Air Filter in Louisville for about 15 years, and in 1973 moved back to Massachusetts to join Fisk in Gloucester, as a designer /draftsman.

He later worked for OmniWave Electronics in Gloucester and with Jeremy Adams (organ and harpsichord builder) in Gloucester and Danvers. During these years Tom's combined talents led him to build, and hand make all the various components, of an Italian harpsichord.

Over his life, Tom became an avid and excellent photographer, capturing many unusual scenes, events, and sequences such as building/restoration projects. In his later years, he became especially enthused with botanic, wildlife, and other nature subjects, continuing to delight his family and friends.

An ardent book lover and reader, Tom explored many subjects, from science, math, natural history, to murder mysteries, Not surprisingly, for his final working career, Tom became a volunteer at the Sawyer Free Library, designing/producing over 15 years' worth of program posters, flyers, and other informational materials. Facing increasingly frail health, he retired in April 2012, leaving many beloved co-workers and friends.

Besides his wife, Ann, Tom is survived by their son, John N. Byers and his wife, Mary Byers, of PA; two children from an earlier marriage: son, Carl A. Byers and his wife Bonnie Tolman, of WA State; daughter, Cynthia D. Byers and her companion Kirk Shubat, and Cynthia's two daughters, Kristin M. Eisma and Hilary M. Eisma, all of California.

ARRANGEMENTS: Tom made arrangements to donate his body to medical science. There will be no services. Gifts in his memory may be made to the Sawyer Free Library, 2 Dale Avenue or in honor of 50 years of companion kitties, to the Cape Ann Animal Aid, 4 Paws Lane, both in Gloucester.

Arrangements are by Greely Funeral Home, 212 Washington Street, Gloucester.

Online condolences may be given at www.greelyfuneralhome.com