1928 - 2020
OREGON, Wis./FRESNO, Calif. – Walter H. Byerly, M.D., age 92, passed away peacefully on Saturday, July 18, 2020, at home with family by his side. He was born on March 13, 1928 in Baltimore, MD, the son of John H. Byerly and Edna (Biddison) Byerly.
Walter graduated from Johns Hopkins University in 1949 and obtained his medical degree at the University of Maryland Medical School in 1953. After his internship, he was a commissioned officer in the U.S. Air Force from 1954-1956, serving in Korea and Japan. Having finished his military service, he chose to practice family medicine in Colorado. He met his wife, Marla Hoodjer in Denver, Colo. and they married on Feb. 7, 1959 in Allison, Iowa.
Walter, Marla and their young family moved to Rochester, Minn., to complete an anesthesia residency at the Mayo Clinic. For the rest of his medical career, he was an anesthesiologist in Fresno, Calif. (1963-1987). During that time, he was proud to have served as Chairman of the Anesthesiology Department at St. Agnes Hospital for over 10 years. He was a well-respected physician within the community. Toward the end of his professional life, he volunteered as Chairman of the Historical Committee within the Fresno-Madera Medical Society. Along with other members, he and his wife interviewed society physicians and recorded their observations of the changing medical practices and their contributions to health care from 1856-2003, published in the book “Recollections.” Walter lived in Fresno for 54 years before moving to the Madison, Wis., area in 2017 to be near family.
Walter enjoyed woodworking, gardening, cultivating roses and orchids, photography, traveling, boating, as well as camping and backpacking in nearby Yosemite. Most importantly he enjoyed spending time with family.
Walter was a loving husband and father. He is survived by Marla, his wife of 61 years; children, Dianne (Stephen Johnson) Byerly, M.D., James (Kristin) Byerly, CAPT., USN Ret., and John (Lanny Corrales) Byerly, MBA; and eight grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents; and brother and sister-in-law, Edward and Bettie Byerly.
Private family services will be held. Online condolences may be made at www.gundersonfh.com.