March 19, 1933 – January 26, 2021


Byron Lee John died peacefully in his home at ReaLife Cooperative at Mueller Gardens Tuesday evening, January 26, 2021.

A private family service will be held Monday, February 1, 2021 at 11:00 AM at First United Methodist Church, Sartell, MN. The public may join the service via livestream on the First United Methodist Church website Byron’s ashes will be laid to rest in the First United Methodist Church Memorial Garden, Sartell, MN. Funeral arrangements were made by Benson Funeral Home, St. Cloud, MN.

He was born in East Orange, New Jersey on March 19, 1933 to Mary Elizabeth (Laubach) and Evan John. When he was eleven years old, his family moved to Terre Haute, Indiana. During high school he became an Eagle Scout and was active in the U. S. Naval Reserve. He earned a Bachelor’s Degree at Indiana State University and a Medical Degree from Indiana University in 1959. He then became a Board Certified Pediatrician following a two year residency at Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis.

During medical school he married Joanne Rigney on November 22, 1956 in Terre Haute, Indiana. They resided in Speedway City until Byron finished his medical training after which he was assigned to Patuxent Naval Air Station, MD for two years and was there during the Cuban missile crisis. Upon discharge from the Navy, he chose to join practice with Dr. Steve Sommers at the Women and Children’s Medical Center in 1964. Byron and Joanne have resided in St. Cloud since that time. He practiced pediatrics until December 1995 when he was diagnosed with cancer which was successfully treated. After that he volunteered his pediatric services in the community for a time.

Byron had many interests. He took junior high youth to the Boundary Waters. His father was a Welsh immigrant, and Byron was proud of his Welsh heritage. After retirement, he sang in an international Welsh choir and the Minnesota Center Chorale. He was an avid golfer, but his main hobby was wood working. He made several pieces of furniture for family members and later turned to making bowls and smaller items. He has been an active member of the First United Methodist Church of the St. Cloud Region for over 50 years.

He is survived by his wife, Joanne, of 64 years and three children, Keith of Foley, MN, Carl of St. Cloud and Elizabeth John of Minneapolis and her life partner, Mike Dahlberg, four grandchildren, two great-grandchildren, and one sister, Gwen (John) Mast of Terre Haute, IN, many nieces and nephews and an exchange student who became part of the family.

He is preceded in death by his parents.

The family extends their deepest appreciation to CentraCare Hospice for all their excellent and attentive care.

In lieu of flowers memorials are preferred to First United Methodist Church or CentraCare Hospice.