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Dr. Cleo Clifford Byers, 96, Los Alamos, N.M.
Obituaries · February 01, 2013



Dr. Cleo Clifford Byers, a long-time resident of Los Alamos, N.M., passed away at the age of 96 on Nov. 27, 2012.

Cleo was born March 10, 1916, in Salem, Iowa. He was the second of six children born to Perry and Winnifred Byers. Cleo graduated from West Branch High School in Iowa in 1933 and received a bachelors of science degree from Coe College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, in 1939. He began graduate work at Oregon State in Corvallis, Ore., but interrupted this to serve in World War II as an Infantry Captain in Alaska and the Aleutians from 1941 to 1946.

He returned to Oregon State to complete his master’s of science in 1948 and continue on to complete course work for his doctorate degree, moving to Los Alamos in 1951 to do research for his doctoral thesis. Cleo received his doctorate in Physics from Oregon State in 1955 and remained at Los Alamos Nuclear Lab in the Critical Assemblies Group at Pajarito Site until his retirement in 1980. After retirement, he continued to work at LANL as a consultant in criticality safety from 1980 to 1992. Cleo moved to Parker, Colo., in 2010.

Cleo traveled extensively, including China, the Middle East, South America, U.S.S.R. and Africa, and enjoyed many hobbies throughout his life, including hiking, camping, photography, gardening, jogging, cross-country skiing and wood-working.

Cleo is preceded in death by his wife of 50 years, Mary Caroline (Sweeney) Byers; brothers Vernon and Leland Byers; and sister Thelma Smith.

He is survived by two sisters, Darlene Nevins of Warner, N.H., and Carol Slach of West Branch; children: Bruce Byers, Sharon Byers Caskey and husband Mike, Loren Byers, and Julie Byers and husband Noel Fugitt; six grandchildren: Heather (Caskey) and husband Steve Adsit, Anya Byers, Clifford Caskey, Jonathan Byers, Corinne Fugitt and Russell Fugitt; two great-grandchildren: Tyler and Hannah Adsit; daughter-in-law Janna Butler; and many nieces and nephews.

A memorial celebration will be held in Los Alamos at a later date. Memorial donations can be made in Cleo’s name to the charity of your choice.

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