The Byers family and our entire community suffered a tremendous loss last week with the sudden and unexpected passing of Tom Byers.
A committed father and devoted husband, Tom leaves behind his wife Barbara of 18 years, and their two children, daughter Morgan (15) son Carson (13); his mother Mary, brothers Robin, Mike, and sister Michelle, along with many cherished cousins, close colleagues and friends. Their shock and complete devastation necessitated the family to take time to process their horrific loss, unable to share their grief outside of their immediate family and friends until now. Gaining the strength from each other, Barbara and the children are slowly finding the courage with every passing day, every passing hour, to face their new reality — a life without a beloved husband, father, leader, and protector of their family.
On their final morning together, 20 years - to the day of Tom and Barbara's first meeting, on a street in San Francisco, while enjoying coffee they discussed plans their upcoming 18th wedding anniversary, a possible Thanksgiving weekend road trip, and making a holiday visit to fly home and see both of their families. The day was just another day. It felt so normal. Barbara and Morgan are finding comfort and strength in knowing Tom's final thoughts were about creating even more memories of our time together as a family. As a couple, Barbara shared they were very keenly aware about the concept of 'time' that with each passing year they felt the clock was ticking louder and faster, this played into many of their conversations and decisions as a family. With Morgan a Sophomore and Carson already in 8th grade, they envisioned both would be off to college in less than five years. With that timeline in mind, Tom felt decisions made in the coming years should be deliberate and purposeful. Tom was the man that really had a five year plan. Time felt precious - never imagining how short it truly was.
Tom inspired Morgan and Carson to try new things, to be brave, to be honest, to be a good sport, and to be the best version of themselves. He taught them to work hard, have responsibility for their actions, and to be able to laugh at themselves. Even at a young age, Tom was the initiator to sign the kids up for sports and activities; he helped coach Carson in baseball and soccer. For Morgan, he coached basketball and, much to her embarrassment, was the loudest cheer dad on the sidelines for many years of soccer. Tom was the first to say 'yes' to Morgan with requests to have sleep overs and parties, he loved having a houseful of kids friends in their our home, up early cooking pancakes, eggs, bacon, chopping fruit and being the ultimate host dad.
Family vacations, instilling a love of travelling abroad, attending Giants games, time at the Santa Cruz amusement park, roller coaster rides, arcade games, ping pong, video games, beach time, skiing, mini put, boating, dancing, a love of travelling abroad - the list goes on and on. His youthful joy for family adventures was contagious. He was definitely the “fun” dad and Barbara felt at those times he was a third child, finding comfort in knowing they did many of their favorite things together over the summer and in the past few weeks. Tom's greatest joy in the past couple of years was time on the golf course with Carson. they would run off at the end of a work and school day to fit in a few holes, and on weekends, recently being Carson's caddie in tournaments. The two spent many hours together, playing music, sharing ideas, thoughts, laughs and aspirations… a lot of ”life” took place in those moments shared. Carson feels Tom was more than his dad, he was also his best friend, making his loss particularly crushing.
Tom and Barbara's story as a couple and parents, raising active teens, with a list of things that were prioritized to do before the kids would ultimately leave for college, has changed. Unfortunately, the universe had a different plan, life has changed in a moment. Tom will be dearly missed. With broken hearts they will try to honor him by living the life he dreamed of and would want for them all.
Barbara wants everyone to know how appreciated every act of kindness has meant so much to each of them. The thoughtful calls, prayers sent, texts received, the spectacular beautiful flowers (home looks like a magical nursery) dropping off of food keeping their refrigerators full, heartfelt gifts and cards filled with words of love... have helped them face each day.
WAYS TO HELP
During this time, we are all looking for tangible, impactful ways to help, and lift them up in the coming months.
The family asks that you please consider in lieu of flowers and gifts the following options listed at this time.
1. Morgan & Carson Byers Education Fund: Tom's children were the center of his world; he had amazing aspirations and high expectations for them. Please consider making a contribution which will go towards an Education Fund in Tom's Memory that is being established - to help fulfill his gift to them.
Click on the "Ways to Help" tab or use the link here to contribute: https://www.gofundme.com/f/morgancarsonbyers-college-fund
2. Memories, Tributes & Pictures: We all have so many wonderful memories and stories of Tom and the family, posting pictures and stories will be a source of comfort during this challenging time and for years to come.
Click on the "Ways to Help" tab or use the link here to post pictures, memories, tributes, would mean a lot to the family. https://www.kudoboard.com/boards/ViCVxC7r/tombyers.
Meal Train - food helps heal - details to determined and coordinated in the coming weeks.
Click on the "Ways to Help" tab or use the link here to sign up to bring a meal: https://mealtrain.com/oq15n8