Dr. Byers was born in Mercer on Dec. 17, 1932. She was a daughter of Harold and Dorthea Snyder Newton.
Joan was a faithful member of Westfield Presbyterian Church and was a retired nurse from Jameson Memorial Hospital, New Castle, after 37 years of dedicated service.
Dr. Byers’ education began when she graduated from Mercer High School. She then earned her diploma in nursing from Jameson Memorial School of Nursing. She graduated magna cum laude from Youngstown State University with a bachelor of science in nursing with minors in education and sychology.
Joan also earned a bachelor of science in nursing with highest distinction from Pennsylvania State University. She then received her master of science in education from Westminster College, graduating summa cum laude. She followed up with her post studies also at Westminster.
Joan then earned her master of science in nursing in the field of education and medical-surgical nursing at the University of Pittsburgh. Lastly, Joan received her doctorate of education from the International Graduate School in St. Louis.
Dr. Byers began her career as a staff nurse for Jameson Memorial Hospital. She became head nurse of the medical-surgical unit at Jameson and then was the director of educational services: Professional and Allied Health Education Programs for Jameson Health System from 1985 until her 1998 retirement.
Dr. Byers achieved many milestones in her life: recognition for outstanding dedication, leadership, and performance by the Jameson board of directors, 1998; outstanding leadership and guidance, Jameson class of 1998; the Edna A. Fagan Distinguished Service Award presented by the American Hospital Associations Institute for Hospital Clinical Nursing Education, 1991; the Iris Machlan Gross Award presented in recognition and appreciation for leadership as the 1989 chairman of the Hospital Association of Pennsylvanians Council of Hospital-Based Schools of Nursing; the Who’s Who in American Nursing Society of Nursing Professionals, 1983-1998; Sigma Theta Tau National Honor Society of Nursing, Penn State, 1982-present; highest scholastic standing in extended degree program of nursing; honors convocation Penn State, 1982; and certificate of appreciation, American Cancer Society, 1981.
Her professional activities were: University of Pittsburgh, School of Nursing Alumni Society executive board, 1998-2010; Northeast Coalition of Hospital and Diploma Schools of Nursing, 1988-1998; National League for Nursing, New York City program evaluator, 1995-1999; president of the Youngstown Council Nursing Services and Educational Administrators, 1995-1996; American Hospital Association, Institute for Hospital Clinical Education planning committee, 1990-1992; chairperson of the Edna Fagan Award committee, 1992, Jameson-Shenango Alumni Association, 1981-1998; Pennsylvania Organization of Nurse Leaders, 1983-1998; and many more.
Dr. Byers was a dedicated professional and a community leader in the field of nursing and education. Her family was very proud of her accomplishments.
Joan married Bud F. Byers Dec. 10, 1954. He passed away in 2006.
Surviving are: her two sons and daughters-in-law, Randy Byers and his wife Robin, Kane, Pa.; and Richard Byers and his wife Michelle, Enon Valley; four grandchildren, Stephanie, Tom, Emily and Katelyn; a sister, Ruth French and her husband Albert, Mercer; two brothers, Raymond Newton and his wife Pat, San Diego; and Harold Newton and his wife Laverne, Mercer.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Jameson Hospital School of Nursing or Westfield Presbyterian Church, Mount Jackson.
Dr. Joan P., 80, Mount Jackson, North Beaver Township, Lawrence County.
Calling hours: 2 to 4 and from 7 to 9 p.m. Saturday (8-10-13) in Terry A. Cunningham Funeral Home, 203 Oak St., Bessemer, and noon to 1 p.m. Sunday (8-11-13) in Westfield Presbyterian Church, Mount Jackson.
Service: 1 p.m. Sunday (8-11-13) in the church.
Burial: Graceland Cemetery, New Castle.