Joseph Edward Byer

Born: Tue., Sep. 7, 1943
Died: Sun., Apr. 28, 2019

Funeral Service

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Joseph Edward Byer Jr., 75, of Punxsutawney, Pa. died in his home surrounded by his loving family, April 28, 2019, after a courageous battle with small cell carcinoma.


Joe was born on September 7, 1943 in Johnstown, PA.


He was preceded in death by his father Joseph Sr., his mother Mary Patricia, and two brothers Patrick and Dennis.


He is survived by his wife Cynthia Benyacko Byer, as well as his sister Susan Zahurak (Rusty), brother Kevin (Nancy) and many nieces and nephews


Joe will be missed by the many friends he made, on his journey in life, including his many dog owner friends.


Joe lived an adventurous life. He traveled the world as a US Air Force surveyor. He moved to Los Angeles in the 60’s and worked for the aerospace industry, where he contributed to a successful soft moon landing. He also worked on the Viking Project which landed ships on Mars. Joe was a big game winner for the 1976 T.V. show “Match Game”.


Joe returned to Johnstown where he met his wife, Cindee. They then moved to Punxsutawney in 1985. He worked as the vineyard manager for Wingate Vineyards. Later, he worked as a morning show host for WPXZ radio, known as C.J.Obrien. He also wrote a weekly column for the Punxsutawney Spirit, called “Dog Knowlogy”. His greatest love was working with his dogs and teaching others to train their dogs. Through those classes he developed many community projects working with the Gateway Humane Society, the Punxsutawney Central Fire Department and the Punxsutawney Community Center. He helped organize the first pet therapy program in the Dubois- Jefferson County Area.


Joe, like his Dobermans, gave his all and never asked for anything in return. He felt that his death was just another journey.


Joe’s funeral care has been entrusted to the Richard L. Fait Funeral Home in Punxsutawney. There will be no viewing or visitation as per Joe’s wishes. His family wishes to offer many thanks to the VNA palliative and hospice care team, and the Altoona VA Infusion Clinic.


Donations in Joe’s memory can be sent to the Gateway Humane Society, 1211 Airport Road, Falls Creek, Pa. 15840 or Central Fire Department of Punxsutawney, 301 E Mahoning St.


Arrangements are being made for a celebration of Joe’s life.  The celebration will be held at Neko’s Restaurant in Punxsutawney, PA on a date to be announced.  For more information contact 814-938-2669.


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