As a wife and mother, Donna Byerly made extraordinary sacrifices, along with Ronald Byerly, to found and develop By-Bu Farms. She passed away on September 28, 2018 at Swiss Village in Berne, Indiana.
Donna Elaine Bucher was born on February 22, 1933 to Harvey and Minnie Bucher of Preble, Indiana, the second of two children. She was a cheerleader at Kirkland High School, where she met her future husband, Ron Byerly.
Following high school, she went to work at Fort Wayne Wire and Die. On January 26, 1953, Donna married Ron Byerly, a Kirkland Township farmer. Donna had been raised on a farm and she shared Ron’s enthusiasm for farming. Over the next 15 years, Donna and Ron became the parents of five children. In addition to raising their children, she helped Ron with the farming and worked full time.
As a child of thrifty German parents, born during the depression, Donna was extremely frugal and hard working. These qualities, passed on to her children, were instrumental in the formation, early success, and expansion of By-Bu Farms.
Donna enjoyed participating in sports as a child, including being a pitcher on the St. Paul’s Lutheran Church softball team. She and Ron nurtured their children to be fine students and to participate in sports, a tradition which lives on to this day through their 14 grandchildren. They instilled in each child a strong work ethic and desire to do well in life. Their children went on to become teachers, a lawyer, and a farmer.
Donna is survived by her children Cheryl (Paul) Harding, Jayne (Bob) Goulet, Ronda (Mike) Ross, Brian (Shelly) Byerly and Kristie (Kent) Brown. Donna is also survived by 14 grandchildren, Kristen (James) Fisher, Mark Harding, Katie (Ben) Lindner, Betsy (Nate) Thieme, John Goulet, Amy (Joel) Reinhard, Michael Ross, Macy Byerly, Ryan Byerly, Megan Byerly, Max Byerly, Kyle Brown, Kevin Brown and Kameron Brown and 5 great grandchildren, Lexi Linder, Luke Linder, Colton Thieme, Julia Thieme and Ava Thieme. She was preceded in death by her husband Ron, a son Kevin, and her only sibling, Bob Bucher.
Visitation will be from 2:00 – 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, October 4, 2018 at Haggard-Sefton-Hirschy & Zelt Funeral Home.
A Funeral Service will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Friday, October 5th at Haggard-Sefton-Hirschy & Zelt Funeral Home, with visitation 1 hour prior from 9:00 – 10:00 a.m. Pastor Daniel Dahling will be officiating and burial will take place in the Decatur Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to St. Paul Lutheran Church – Preble or Adams County Cancer Coalition.
St. Paul Lutheran Church-Preble
Adams County Cancer Coalition