Cover photo for Byron Gettle's Obituary
Byron Gettle Profile Photo
1940 Byron 2020

Byron Gettle

October 5, 1940 — August 15, 2020

In August 2020, as the family of Byron Lee Gettle gathered, his older son Jeff wrote these words: For as long as I have any memories whatsoever, my dad had been the rock. The source. The voice of reason. The intelligent one. The one with moral values that stood above everything and everyone. The person that even if we hadn't talked in 5 years or so could have a conversation with me about sports, life, religion, love, relationships, children, or anywhere in between. Today, he's broken. He's not the same man. He's hurting. He's unaware of his surroundings. He can barely communicate. The man I always KNEW could stand up for himself regardless of where he was at or what surrounded him is long gone. I will never forget who he was and I know as hard as I may strive, I will never be the person he was. When the word fearless came to mind, or strength, or willpower, he was the one I thought of. Now, that man is almost gone. His pain is more than I am currently able to bear. Dad, I know I am bad at saying things out loud. But I love you, I love you, and I will miss every second that you're gone. If you're that praying type, I could use it, as could he for peace and tranquility as it ends. Byron, at home with his wife Sandy and sons Jeff and Mike, died August 15, 2020 following a long illness. He was born in Kankakee, Illinois in 1940 to Warner and Wilma Gettle and spent most of his life in Indianapolis, Indiana. Byron was “big brother” to Dale Gettle, John Gettle, Ronald Gettle and the late Donald Gettle. His great interest became football and he was a proud member of the Southport High School team, moving on to Ball State University. Byron and Sandy were married in 1962 and he was drafted by the U.S. Army less than a year later. The Army’s testing determined he should be either a chaplain or a cook; they made him a military policeman! He served in San Antonio, Texas, and Mannheim, Germany, then returned to his work at General Motors in Indianapolis. Son Jeffrey Lee was born in 1968, Michael Scott in 1974 and his sons were the joy of his life. Added to that was the birth of his grandchildren, Layla Leigh, Max Arlis and Deacon Jeffrey. As a dad, Byron enjoyed camping and fishing, coaching and Scouting with his boys. Byron loved all his family and called Arlis Pennington, his father-in-law, “my hero.” His circle included aunts and uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews, in-laws, pastors, teachers and so many friends, all important to him. Sisters-in-law Patsy Hirst (Jack) and Sherry Long (Gary) were always special. Byron and his sons shared an extraordinary sense of humor and competitive nature. The dinner table could get crazy! Games with the Woodhouses were ruthless. Byron’s faith was strong. He became an Elder at Southport Heights Christian Church as well as a teacher of young and old. The members of the senior ladies’ class called him “that cute young fellow” while the teens claimed he gave the best hugs. He took advantage of sign language classes so that he could teach the hearing- impaired members. In 2004, Byron and Sandy moved to Arizona, where he enjoyed his remaining years. He joined the United Church of Sun City and volunteered at the senior center. Home doctor Roselavender Richards became a friend who treated, annoyed and loved Byron and feelings were mutual. Everyone knew that Byron’s favorites were his Golden Retriever Julie and the Green Bay Packers! After his dad’s passing, Jeff wrote, “Today the Green Bay Packers just lost their number one fan. Rest in peace Dad. You ran a long hard race.”
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