Dr. Robert Arwood Byler, 96, of Wilmington, Ohio died 11:08 PM, Wednesday, July 13, 2011 at Cape May Retirement Village, Wilmington, Ohio. His first wife, Sarah Elizabeth Baillie Byler, preceded him in death December 1995. They were married September 11, 1938. His second wife, Eunice Garman Byler, survives. They were married October 20, 1996. Dr. Byler was born July 29, 1914 in Edinburg, Pennsylvania, son of the late Jonah and Mary Katherine Kurtz Byler. He was a 1931 graduate of Mt. Jackson High School in Pennsylvania. He attended Muskingum College on a national scholarship from the Presbyterian Church. He entered McCormick Seminary in Chicago in 1937, but transferred to Boston University and graduated in 1940. He received his doctorate degree from Ohio Northern University.
Dr. Byler was a retired Methodist minister. His first appointment was the United Methodist Church in New Straitsville in 1940. Other appointments were Summit Church, Wesley Foundation, Maple Grove in Columbus, Hamilton First Church, Collingwood Church in Toledo, and Epworth Marion. He was named Defiance District Superintendent in 1965 and Wilmington District Superintendent in 1967. He was appointed to the Bexley Church in Columbus in 1971 and served there until his retirement in 1985. After retirement he continued to serve as an assistant pastor in the Columbus area at Riverside Church, Broad Street Church, and Redeemer Church in Reynoldsburg. Over the years, he served on many conference committees, was chairman of the cabinet, was elected to general and jurisdictional delegations, and chaired the Episcopal committee. He served under six Bishops: Smith, Werner, Ensley, Loder, Amons, and Craig. After his second marriage, he moved to Wilmington and attended the First Christian Church – Disciples of Christ. Dr. Byler still kept in contact with the United Methodist Church though. At First Christian Church he taught an adult Sunday school class and was a member of the choir. In 2002 he and his wife became residents at Cape May Retirement Village. He served as the pastor for Vesper Services there for five years and conducted a Bible study group as well.
In addition to his second wife, Dr. Byler is survived by a daughter, Barbara (Eric) Effmann of Seattle Washington; two sons, Philip (Janet) Byler of Huntington, New York and Christopher (Helen) Byler of Indianapolis, Indiana; a stepdaughter, Linda (Marlin) Newman of Wilmington, Ohio; five grandchildren; two step grandchildren; one great grandson; and five step great grandchildren. In addition to his first wife and parents, nine brothers and sisters, are preceded in death.
Funeral services will be 12:00 Noon, Monday, July 18, 2011 at the First Christian Church – Disciples of Christ, 120 Columbus Street, Wilmington, Ohio. Burial will be in Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Columbus, Ohio. Friends may call from 11:00 AM – 12:00 Noon, Monday, July 18, 2011 at the First Christian Church – Disciples of Christ. In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial contributions be made to Community Care Hospice, P.O. Box 123, Wilmington, Ohio 45177.