The Obit For George Byam

George A. Byam
of Exeter, NH, Lowell native, WWII vet; 90

Published in Lowell Sun on January 24, 2010

EXETER, NH -- George Alan Byam, died peacefully at his home in Exeter, NH, on January 13, 2010 under the care of his family, hospice and the staff of Langdon Place of Exeter.

Born November 11, 1919 in Lowell, Massachusetts, he was a graduate of Lowell High School, Cushing Academy and Duke University, where he was Captain of the baseball team. He was drafted by the Boston Red Sox, and pursued a career in professional baseball upon graduation. World War II interrupted his career, as he served in the Eighth Infantry where he played in the Southern Army Baseball Championships before he later served in the Philippines and Japan.

After the war, he returned to marry his high school sweetheart, Ruth Estabrook Jenkins in 1946 and resumed his professional baseball career. He played on four pennant-winning teams and in two Little World Series. He played for the New Orleans Pelicans, Boston's Southern Association (AA), and in 1947 and 1948, for the Nashville Volunteers, the Chicago Cubs AA club; and then moved to the International League (AAA) in 1949 with the Buffalo Bisons, whose parent team was the Detroit Tigers. He was an All-Star slugging first baseman, who for several years batted over .300 and was credited with over 100 RBI's a year.

Twice, major league teams wanted to "purchase his contract," once by the Detroit Tigers in 1949 and then by New York in 1951. Both times the clubs refused, which in those years kept him from playing in the Major Leagues. With a young daughter and another business, George left baseball to devote his full attention to his business.

He successfully established Fluffy Diaper Service, Inc. which he developed into a profitable business for 26 years. Active in Masonry, he was a 33rd degree Scottish Rite Mason, a member of William North Lodge and Aleppo Temple Shrine. Active in many civic organizations, he served as President of Vesper Country Club, a Vestry member of St. Anne's Episcopal Church, the YMCA, DeMolay, and the Lowell General Hospital Board of Trustees. He also served on the First Federal Savings and Loan Board of Directors.

Upon semi-retirement, he moved with his wife to Hancock, NH where they enjoyed almost 20 years together before her death in 1998, and after 52 years of marriage. For the first several years, he commuted back to Lowell to work for the First Bank and Trust, now Enterprise Bank. He was active in the Monadnock region in the Hancock Community Church, the local Sportsmen's Club, served on the Monadnock Community Hospital Board of Trustees and coached Little League.

An avid sportsman and athlete, George played tennis and golf often, and continued with his love for the outdoors, and his annual two weeks of fishing and hunting in the Maine woods and northern New Hampshire for over 50 years. Following his wife's death, George remained in the Monadnock region for the next 10 years after which he decided to move to Exeter, NH to be closer to his family.

He is survived by his daughters, Nancy Ellen Byam of Nashua, NH, and Martha Byam and her husband, Gary Fincke of Hampton Falls, NH; and his granddaughters, Emily and Sarah Fincke of New York, NY; and many nieces and nephews.

He was an honorable man, well respected, loved by many, and will be sorely missed.

BYAM -- A memorial service will be held on February 6th at 11:00 AM at St. John's Episcopal Church in Portsmouth, NH. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to either Lowell General Hospital, Attn: Philanthropy, 295 Varnum Ave., Lowell, MA 01854; or Monadnock Community Hospital, attn: Philanthropy, Laura Gingras, 452 Old Street Rd., Peterborough, NH 03458.