Roy Keith “Arkie” Byars was born to George E. Byars, Sr. and Josephine Bergmann Byars on November 20th of 1943 in the “Hospital In the Hills” in Blanco, Texas, which is known as the “Old Blanco County Courthouse”. He passed away on April 5th, 2008, at the age of 64. He is survived by his loving wife of 38 years, Cora and brother George E. Byars, Jr. and his wife Eunice.
Roy Keith was named after his uncle, Roy Byars of Blanco who was away in the Army during WWII and he was called RK by the family and that migrated into “Arkie”.
“Arkie” graduated from the Johnson City High School in 1962 and attended college at Southwest Junior College in Uvalde. He worked various highway construction jobs and worked for McConnell’s Plumbing and Electric in Johnson City while still in high school. He later joined the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 520 in Austin, Texas where he pursued the electrical trade for many years in Austin and in surrounding areas. He served the County as Constable of Precinct One for 2 terms. He was forced into retirement by medical problems a few years ago and has lived in retirement in Johnson City since. He continued his interest in the local community by serving on the Zoning Committee of the City Council.
He was a member of Johnson City Masonic Lodge 561 AF & AM, the Johnson City Volunteer Fire Dept. where he held various offices over the years and was also a director of the Blanco County Fair Assn. As an avid supporter of these organizations he participated in their fund raisers by cooking bar-b-que and frying fish, usually with Cora by his side making the beans, coleslaw or baking cakes. He was preparing to go to Blanco to help with the Blanco VFD Fish Fry when he had his last heart attack. He was a director of the Hill Country Toy Run Association and annual Johnson City Pig Roast which raised thousands of dollars for orphan children in the Cherokee Children’s Home. He was always willing to help by cooking for needy causes. The Bergmann and Byars Family Reunions could always count on him to “cook the meat”. There aren’t many people in Blanco County who haven’t eaten his cooking at one time or another.
He will be missed by his mother-in-law, Madeline Baker; sister-in-law, Loris Guthrie; brother-in-law, Jimmy Wayne Baker and his wife, Samantha; sister-in-law Beverly Baker, and husband James Dennis; nephews, Alan G. Byars, his wife Nancy and their daughters Kayla and Alaina; Mark O. Byars, his wife Donna and their children Lauren and Mark Alan; niece, Karen Ann (Byars) Blum and her husband Mark and their children Megan and Kevin and many cousins and friends.
He loved to fish, hunt and play golf. His fishing, hunting and golfing buddies all have stories to tell about their adventures with Arkie. He was never at a loss for words and had a comment on just about everything. While he never met a stranger, his friendly, outgoing personality made him many friends and he will be missed.
Visitation was held 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM Tuesday, April 8, 2008 at Crofts Funeral Home where funeral services will be held at 2:00 PM Wednesday. Interment will follow in the Johnson City Masonic Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to the Johnson City Volunteer Fire Department, P.O. Box 316, Johnson City, TX 78636 or to the North Blanco County Emergency Medical Services, P.O. Box 557, Johnson City, TX 78636.