Leona Mae (De Vries) Byma, 89, of Sunnyside passed away on Monday, March 4, 2013.

She was born June 7, 1923 in Grundy Center, Iowa, the daughter of Andrew and Nellie (Van Zante) De Vries.

Leona moved with her parents to Grand Rapids, Mich., when she was one year old, and they lived there for four years, moving back to Iowa in 1928.

Leona graduated from Prairie City High School in 1943 and attended college for one semester, then taught school for five years.

In 1949 Leona moved to California as she had met Clarence Byma on June 7, 1950 at Mitchellville, Iowa. They lived on a dairy in California until 1956 or 1957, when they moved to Sunnyside, where they had a dairy, a vineyard and an apple orchard.

Leona spent one year teaching at Sunnyside Christian School, and then became a remedial teacher and later substituted at Sunnyside public schools. She also spent many years volunteering at Christian School Library, and loved to visit the neighborhood and church widows she knew.

In 2004 they moved into Sun Terrace Assisted Living apartments. Clarence passed away on May 27, 2011.

Leona was a member of United Reformed Church in Sunnyside.

She is survived by a daughter, Augusta (Kenneth) Lorensen of Show Low, Ariz.; two sons, Garret Byma of Sunnyside and David (Pini) Byma of Vista, Calif.; daughter-in-Law, Sharon Byma of Outlook; seven grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; one brother, John Martin (Celia) De Vries of Pella, Iowa; one sister, Margery Dykema of Strasburg, N.D.; and one sister-in-law, Martha De Vries of Altoona, Iowa.

Leona was preceded in death by her son, Andrew Byma; daughter-in-law, Janet Byma; her parents; four brothers, and three sisters-in-law, Harold (Christina) De Vries, Edwars (Mable) De Vries, Lester (Beulahdean) De Vries, A. Paul De Vries; two sisters, and two brother in-laws, Esther (Orie) Lourens, Martha De Vries in infancy and Harold Dykema; one nephew, John Charles De Vries.

Visitation will be held Friday, March 8, 2013, from 2 to 6 p.m. at Valley Hills Funeral Home in Sunnyside. Graveside services will be held Saturday, March 9, 2013, at 9 a.m. at Lower Valley Memorial Gardens in Sunnyside.

All condolences can be sent to

Valley Hills Funeral Home in Sunnyside is in care of all arrangements.


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