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Margaret Agnes Byers

April 17, 1919 August 21, 2018
Margaret Agnes Byers
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Obituary for Margaret Agnes Byers

Margaret (“Peggy”) Agnes Byers
April 17, 1919 – August 21, 2018

Margaret (Peggy”) Agnes Byers, a devoted mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother, passed away in her home on Park Road on 21 August, 2018 at the age of 99 years.
She was born on April 17, 1919 on Kirby Road in the farmhouse of Inez Jenkins Stalcup, a schoolteacher, store manager, and mother; and Guy Stalcup, farmer, businessman, and father. She grew up on the family farm of some 26 acres in the vicinity of Park and Kirby Roads, working both on the farm as well as in the family’s General Merchandise Store in Chesterbrook. She was an outstanding student at Franklin Sherman High School where she also excelled at numerous sports, particularly softball.
With the outbreak of the Second World War and departure of her older siblings to either the service, marriage, or jobs, she was essential to the continued operation of the general store. But she was also especially keen to enter government service, and studied for the Civil Service Exam every evening after the store had closed. She not only passed the exam, but received such high scores that she was immediately offered a job as a secretary in the Pentagon’s Air Force Public Relations Office. The job was one of the many highlights of her life, as she not only loved the work but was able to meet a large number of famous movie actors and war heroes that included Clark Gable, Gene Autry, Burgess Meredith, and the Pacific fighter pilot ace Richard Ira Bong.
Following the war she married Alton (Al) C. Byers, Jr. of Punxsutawney, PA and by the early 1950s was blessed with four children, Margaret, Nancy, Alton III, and Elizabeth. Al entered the Central Intelligence Agency in 1952, a job which included a series of two-year overseas assignments with his young family in Japan (1955-57), the Philippines (1961-63), and Greece (1965-67). The experience of living abroad in three different countries was another highlight of Peggy’s life, given her love of travel, adventure, learning languages, and foreign cultures.
In 1957 Peggy and Al built their home on Park Road, at the time surrounded by corn fields, pastures, and woods. Their only neighbors were three of Peggy’s six siblings that included the families of William Stalcup, Guy Bayes, and Sam Stalcup; and of her mother Inez (“Mama”) Stalcup who continued to live in the old farmhouse on Kirby Road where Peggy was born. Throughout the 1960s to the 1980s William Stalcup continued the family tradition of small scale vegetable farming, growing corn, tomatoes, squash, strawberries, and other crops while employing the next generation of children and cousins as farm hands. It was here that Peggy began the tradition of her annual corn parties on the deck, welcoming her friends from her and Al’s overseas assignments as well as her numerous friends from the Chesterbrook Methodist Church and beyond. The corn parties were to continue on an annual basis for the next six decades.
During the 1960s and 1970s Peggy was a devoted mother and housekeeper who was active in numerous social and church functions, a happy time punctuated by the adventure of two additional overseas assignments in the Philippines and Greece. She was especially fond of the family gatherings on Christmas day that became another Park Road tradition, when brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, and cousins would visit the house at various times throughout the day, bringing gifts of food and laughter, and always looking forward to Peggy’s copious supplies of shrimp. Peggy was a particularly social person who cherished the love and friendship of her siblings, friends, and church. She was an accomplished poet and for many years wrote a featured poem for the church’s monthly newsletter.
Al’s death in 1979 left a great void in Peggy’s heart. She nevertheless continued to live a full, rich, and active life for the next 40 years, once again supported by a particularly large and robust network of friends, family, and a very strong faith in the Lord. She traveled to Europe, South Korea, China, Alaska, and numerous destinations within the US; continued her annual corn parties and other social engagements on the deck; and was constantly engaged in church activities that included being a greeter, teaching Sunday School, arranging alter flowers, assisting with communion preparations, coordinating social events, decorating the Christmas tree, producing the weekly bulletin, working as a secretary, and participating in the weekly Gab and Dab social events.
Peggy suffered a fall in 2015 that left her partly disabled but still able to navigate her beloved home using a walker. She then suffered a seizure in 2016, but remained at home under the care of professional care givers, Hospice, and her family. Although bedridden during this time, she was warm, happy, in her own home, with her dear friend Marmalade the cat usually napping on the bed. She passed the days watching her favorite television programs, joking with her caregivers, and particularly enjoyed the visits of her numerous friends, family members, Hospice staff, and ministers.
Peggy was predeceased by her brothers Tilman, Sam, and William, and by her sisters Dorothy, Frances, and Elmira. She is survived by her four children Margaret, Nancy, Alton, and Elizabeth; six grandchildren, and 2 great grandchildren.
Relatives and friends are invited to Peggy’s Life Celebration at Chesterbrook United Methodist Church, 1711 Kirby Road, McLean, VA on Saturday September 22 at 11 a.m. Flowers for Peggy's service may be delivered to the church office on Friday September 21, between the hours pf 9am to 2 pm.Following the service will be a reception in the multi-purpose room of the Education Building below the Church. Interment will be at Culpeper National Cemetery. Online condolences and fond memories of Peggy may be offered to the family at www.moneyandking.com


Previous Events

Service

Saturday

22

Sep

11:00 AM 9/22/2018 11:00:00 AM
Chesterbrook United Methodist Church

1711 Kirby Road
McLean, VA 22101

Chesterbrook United Methodist Church
1711 Kirby Road McLean 22101 VA
United States
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