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Donald William "Bill" Byo
June 22, 1932 ~ October 2, 2023 (age 91) 91 Years Old
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Donald William "Bill" Byo, 91, of Bernalillo, NM passed away Monday October 2, 2023. Bill was born June 22, 1932 in Youngstown, Ohio, the son of the late Gustav Andrew and Dorothy May (Johnston) Byo.
One who thrived in music, Bill’s music education began in the band program at Youngstown South High School and in Baptist church orchestras and continued during a bachelor’s degree at Youngstown College (class of 1954) and in the U.S. Army Bands (1954-1956). His passion for music and teaching would lead to band director positions in the Lordstown Schools and Niles High School and a master’s degree from Kent State University, where in 2000 he was named Distinguished Alumnus of the Glauser School of Music. In 1963, he was named interim director of bands and professor of bassoon at Youngstown College. (In 1967, it would become Youngstown State University.) Twenty-nine years at YSU included leadership as Assistant Dean, Dean, and finally Director of the Dana School of Music. In retirement, he continued to teach part time at YSU, Westminster College, and Grove City College. During all of these years, he combined substantial teaching and administrative responsibilities with substantial activity as a respected performing musician, who joined with talented and dedicated other musicians to cultivate the classical music culture of the Mahoning Valley and Western Pennsylvania. Bill was a long-time member of the Youngstown Symphony Orchestra, the Warren Philharmonic Orchestra, the W. D. Packard Band, the Greenville (PA) Symphony Orchestra, and the Kenley Players Orchestra. He was a founding member of the Dana Woodwind Quintet. In 2004 he was the recipient of the Heritage Award for exceptional service to Youngstown State University. In 2021 he retired from the Packard Band as Conductor Emeritus and Conductor Laureate.
Bill is survived by his wife June Catherine (Wajda) Byo, whom he married December 27, 1954. He also leaves his children and their (spouses), James (Jane) Byo, Susan (Howard) Passell, and Kathy (Richard) Hentosh; grandchildren Ben (Adrienne) Byo, Caitlin (Justin) Thuet, Alex (Mary) Byo, and Julia Passell, and 5 great grandchildren.
Bill is preceded in death by his brother Charles Byo.
Calling hours will be held Friday October 13th from 6:00 PM-8:00 PM at Blackstone Funeral Home (672 Churchill Rd. Girard, Ohio) with a funeral service on Saturday October 14th at 11:00 AM at Church Hill United Methodist Church (189 Churchill Hubbard Rd. Youngstown, Ohio). Bill will be laid to rest at Tod Homestead Cemetery. The family requests memorial gifts be made to the general scholarship fund of the Dana School of Music, Youngstown State University Foundation (ysufoundation.org). Click “Give Now” and follow the prompts.