LCDR Leonard Delbert (“Del”) Byler, age 99, resident of Hollister, CA. Born March 5, 1919 in Garden City, Kansas to Leonard Ray Byler and Ruth Weaver Byler. Peacefully entered into rest on Saturday 8/18/18, surrounded by his loving family. Del proudly served the United States Navy as a Top Gun night-fighter pilot in World War II and the Korean War, flying Hellcats, Banshees, and Bearcats off of the U.S.S. Enterprise, Saratoga, Oriskany, and Essex straight-deck carriers. After 21 years of exemplary active service and Reserves, he retired as a Lieutenant Commander. After the military, his primary career was as a successful Estate Planner selling Life, Health, and Disability insurance.
Del was preceded in death by the love of his life, Jeanne (in 2005), after celebrating 60 wonderful years of marriage. Del is survived by six children: Diana Hudkins (Jack), Jan Templeton, Jeff (Martina), Kevin (Karen), Jon (Suzan), Debbie Sowle; 11 grandchildren: Stephanie, Matthew, Michael, Debra, Joseph, Amanda, Morgan, Jordan, Hayley, Bryce, Allison; and 16 great-grandchildren. He is also survived by his beloved sister, Dorothy Smith. Del enjoyed family, golfing, travelling, playing bridge, and gardening (especially fragrant roses).
A Celebration of Life service, with military honors, will be held on Saturday 9/22/18 at 11:00 A.M. at Christ Fellowship Church, 2066 San Benito Street, Hollister, CA 95023. In lieu of flowers, donations preferred to either: Christ Fellowship Church; or Naval Air Museum Barbers Point (www.nambp.org). Arrangements by Grunnagle-Ament-Nelson Family Funeral Home in Hollister, CA (www.grunnagle.com).