Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma

The Great Seal of the Choctaw Nation

Sgt. Major Tony Byars

Born: 4/19/1925

Died: 7/9/1998

Maiden Name: n/a

Honorific: n/a

Tony Byars, 73, a resident of Austin, Texas, and formerly of Oklahoma, passed away at his home on July 9, 1998.

Mr. Byars was born April 19, 1925 in Marsden, Oklahoma, the son of Harrison Alex Byars and Lena Jefferson Byars. He attended school at Jones Academy and Chilocco Indian School. He enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps in 1943 and had 27 years of distinguished service throughout three wars until his retirement in 1970.

He graduated from Baylor University in 1974 with a Bachelor’s of Arts degree in Political Science and Public Administration. Mr. Byars civilian career in public service included involvement with organizations such as CETA, the Texas Indian Commission, the American Indian Resource and Education Coalition (AIREC) and Goodwill Industries. He also served as Superintendent of the Alabama Coushatta Indian Reservation. Mr. Byars was inducted into the Chiloccco Hall of Fame in June 1997, an honor that he was very proud to have received. He was member of Christ Memorial Baptist Church in Austin.

Mr. Byars was preceded in death by his parents, his loving wife, Virginia Jones Byars, two children, Cheryl Ann and Michael Alex, and two brothers, Melvin J. Arnett and Sweeney Byars.

He is survived by his daughter, Karen E. Byars of Austin; two sons, John W. Byars of Austin and William A. Byars and wife, Pat, of Waco, Texas; two sisters, Rosalie Imotichey of Sulphur, Oklahoma, and Lorena Thompson of Newcastle, Delaware, and numerous nieces, nephews and friends.