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OBITUARY

S John Byington

October 9, 1937September 15, 2017
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S. John Byington - October 9, 1937-September 15, 2017

S. John Byington, 79, died peacefully of natural causes on Friday, September 15th, in Alexandria, VA. He leaves his loving family: his wife of 19 years, Linda Lindsay Byington, his two daughters Nancy Rhodes and her husband Mark Rhodes, their children Matthew Rhodes and William Rhodes; and Barbra Byington, along with three step children, Lisa Lindsay Arsenault, her daughter Amelia Arsenault; Jennifer Lindsay and her husband Seth Zuckerman, their son Nicholas Zuckerman; and Ian Lindsay and his wife Jennifer Lanzarone Lindsay, their daughter Leda Rose Lindsay. As the oldest of the eight children of Stanley J. Byington and Constance Y. Desnoyer Byington, he is survived by three brothers and four sisters, their spouses, and over 50 nieces, nephews, grand-nieces and nephews. He was born on October 9, 1937 in Kalamazoo, Michigan and attended Ferris State University, graduating in 1959 with a BS in Pharmacy. Following graduation, John enrolled in the University of Michigan Law School, working part-time as assistant manager of Stadium Pharmacy. He moved to Washington, accepting a position with the American Pharmaceutical Association (APhA), where he continued his law studies at Georgetown University, completing his JD in 1963, also becoming Director of Communications of APhA. Returning to Grand Rapids, Michigan with his law degree, he worked as an assistant prosecutor and then became assistant press secretary to Governor George Romney. In 1966, he became campaign manager for Romney’s third term gubernatorial campaign and his presidential bid in 1968. Subsequently, he practiced law with the U.S. Department of Commerce in Detroit. He moved back to Washington, D.C. to become deputy special assistant to President Ford and deputy director of the Office of Consumer Affairs at the Department of Health and Human Services. In 1976, President Ford appointed him Chairman of the Consumer Product Safety Commission, a position he held for two years. He was later appointed by President Reagan to the Aviation Safety Commission in 1987. John went on to practice law for more than 20 years in Washington, focusing on corporate and regulatory matters at both the federal and state level. He was founding and managing partner of the Washington office of Detroit-based law firm, Bushnell, Gage, Reizen & Byington and, subsequently, Washington managing partner of the New York firm Rogers, Hoge & Hills. He, then, joined Pillsbury Madison & Sutro, helping to grow the Washington office from four lawyers to more than fifty. Almost all of his professional life, John combined the practice of law with his entrepreneurial spirit. He was a founding member of several organizations, including two communications companies; a Wild Goose, a microbrewery, with his close friend Ted Garrish; a biotechnology company; an herbal products business; and, his last major venture, LegalLeaders Inc., a senior lawyer recruiting firm, serving, first, as global leader for the executive search firm, Page-Wheatcroft & Co. After ten years as CEO of LegalLeaders, Inc., he moved in-house at Patton Boggs as the partner responsible for lateral partner recruiting and integration and related strategic initiatives, ultimately retiring in 2015.

Along with his family, God, and country, John loved Washington DC and the Nationals, cheering with his family at one final game this season, even as his health was declining. He also had a great love of Ireland; he and Linda spent many, happy summer months in Killarney, exploring the richness of Irish culture with family and friends.

Mr. Byington will be honored with a memorial service October 9th at Demaine Funeral Home in Alexandria at 1:30, reception to follow from 2:30 to 4:30--520 S. Washington Street, 22314. In addition, a “Celebration of John’s Life: Storytelling with Family and Friends” will be held in late December-date, time, and place to be announced. Rather than flowers the family would appreciate donations in his name to any of the following organizations: KIPP DC (http://www.kippdc.org); Goodwin House Foundation (https://www.goodwinhouse.org/goodwin-house-foundation); Gerald R Ford School of Public Policy University of Michigan (http://fordschool.umich.edu); or the Irish Repertory Theater, NYC. (https://irishrep.org).

Services

  • Memorial Service

    Monday, October 9, 2017

  • Reception

    Monday, October 9, 2017

Memories

S John Byington

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Edward Fowler

January 18, 2018

Belated condolences to John's family. I worked with John at LegalLeaders and found him to be gregarious, insightful, curious, and one of the most strategic and persuasive people I have known. It was hard to NOT have a good time around John as was naturally drawn to people and always had something exciting going on to discuss.

Sanford Henry

October 9, 2017

Great friend and husband to my sister Linda. Good full life as lawyer, political professional,entrepreneur and Ireland. Rest in peace

Sally Hatch

September 29, 2017

Our deep sympathy to John's family, especially my daurghters, Nancy and Barbra, in the loss of their father. May our Lord's peace be with all of you.

Sally and Bob Hatch, Hagerstown, MD

Bill Ballenger

September 28, 2017

S. John was a colorful guy! Am very sorry to learn of this. We will miss him ...

September 26, 2017

I was saddened to learn of the passing of John Byington. My very special condolences to his family. I have known John for years, as we both served as Chairman of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. He was a great public servant and a very outstanding business leader. His legacy will be remembered for years to come. We will miss you, John
Nancy Harvey Steorts.

Nancy Harvey Steorts

September 26, 2017

I was saddened to learn of the passing of John Byington. My very special condolences to his family. I have known John for years, as we both served as Chairman of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. He was a great public servant and a very outstanding business leader. His legacy will be remembered for years to come. We will miss you, John
Nancy Harvey Steorts.

Dr. Walt de Vries

September 25, 2017

I have so many good memories of John and the George Romney campaigns. RIP, John.

Ken Walton

September 23, 2017

I'm so sorry to hear of John's passing. I've known him since grade school at St. Francis in Grand Rapids. I considered him to be a close friend, during our youth, and we did stay in touch, from time to time. in our adult lives. My sincere condolences to his entire family, and may he rest in peace with The Lord.

ken hinton

September 22, 2017

So sorry to hear of John's passing. I met him at Ferris when I first arrived - He was a brother (Delta Tau Epsilon), a leader on campus. A great upstanding man of so many accomplishments! May he RIP--Ken Hinton

September 21, 2017

Sorry to hear about John's passing. Condolences to the family.

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY

Stan and Connie Byington

FROM THE FAMILY

The young Byington family

FROM THE FAMILY

On the lakes of Michigan

FROM THE FAMILY

Young John

FROM THE FAMILY

Young John

FROM THE FAMILY

Reading the paper

FROM THE FAMILY

School photo

FROM THE FAMILY

Working young John

FROM THE FAMILY

John on Capital Hill