Funeral services for Wendell Hampton Byler, 89, of Bangs, will be held at 10 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 4 at the First Baptist Church in Bangs with David Barnum officiating. A Masonic gravesite rite will follow in the Bangs Cemetery. The family will receive friends from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday at the Heartland Funeral Home.

Mr. Byler passed away Monday, Jan. 1, 2018 in Bangs.

Wendell was born on Nov. 28, 1928 in Runnels Countyto Wilmer J. and Opal Lee Byler. He was their first born child and the first grandchild of Hamp and Mary Jane Byler and Chester and Lillie Horton. Wendell talked often of how difficult it was for he and his brother, Dub, growing up during the depression, but they were always surrounded with love.

Wendell later became a standout high school athlete in Slaton, Texas where he earned four letters in both football and basketball, as well as two letters in baseball. He enjoyed similar success at the University of Corpus Christi where he was a three-year letterman in baseball, football and basketball for the Tarpon teams from 1949 – 1952. Byler recorded 13 home runs and an amazing .436 batting average during the 1951 season which earned him a contract offer from the Chicago White Sox. In 1952 he was selected as the “Most valuable Tarpon” and graduated UCC with a degree in Education. The Tarpons later became the Islanders. In 2012 Wendell was inducted into the Athletic Hall of Honor of UCC.

Like many young men in the early 1950s, he served his country with a two-year stint in the Army. While in the service, during the Korean War, he was in the MWR, as an Army Recreational Specialist. He was a member of the 6th Armored Division All –Star teams in baseball and football. He received a honorable discharge in 1954.

While in the service of our country, Wendell me the love of his life, Emma Dean Kell and they married Jan. 29, 1955, in Houston, Missouri. They moved to Sinton where Wendell was a Registered Sanitarian for eight years before moving to Bangs to become Administrator of Twilight Nursing Home in 1962. For 44 years, Twilight provided a home with quality care with love, warmth and devotion. In that same year Wendell established the Byler Angus and Quarter Horse Farm. He is a life member of American Angus Association and the American Quarter Horse Association. Wendell served as President for six years of the Central Texas Angus Association. Byler Angus Farm has numerous awards in the show ring.

Wendell became a member of the Masonic Lodge in Bangs in 1962 and was recently awarded his fifty year pin, had served as a commander for the American Legion and was a member of the First Baptist Church in Bangs.

Survivors include wife, Erma; two sons Wynn Byler and Tina Greenrock of Bangs and John Byler and wife Kristene of Bangs; three grandchildren; Amber Byler and husband, Chad Smith of Early, Matt Byler and wife Mattie of Bangs and Kylee Byler of Bangs; five great-grandchildren, Peyton, Emma, Autumn, Rylee, and Jayton; sister, Sharolyn Byler and niece Shy Ann.

Wendell was preceded in death by his and Erma’s precious daughter, Theresa Faye Byler; his parents, Wilmer J. and Opal Lee Byler; his brother Dub; grandparents; aunts; uncles; nephews; and numerous other family and friends.

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