Kenneth Colby Byam, 88, of N. Chelmsford died Saturday March 14 , 2015 at Lowell General Hospital after a short illness. He was the husband of the late Edna (Martin) Byam, his soul mate, love of his life, and wife of 60 years, who died January 30 , 2008.
Born in Lowell, MA Nov. 1, 1926, Ken was the 10th Generation grandson of George Byam one of the five founding fathers of Chelmsford in 1635. He spent his young life farming his family’s land in South Chelmsford, raised on Baptist (Heart) Pond where his passion for nature’s bounty was so deeply rooted. He loved his community and his family, and his heritage preserved in the South Village historical district and at the Byam/Barrett Homestead on Byam Road open for public viewing by the Chelmsford Historical Society. Ken was a son of the late Kenneth and Ella Byam. He graduated from Lowell High School in 1945. Ken served proudly in the US Marine Corps during World War II with the 6th Marine Division “Striking Six” 29th Marines in Guam and the Philippine Islands, and was present at the Japanese surrender at Tsing Tao, China ending the war.
Ken worked as a Lineman for New England Telephone Co. for 35 years before retiring in 1990. He was a member of the South Chelmsford First Baptist Church. He was a 32nd degree Mason, William North Lodge of Lowell, also a member of the American Legion A.W. Vinal Post 313 in N. Chelmsford, Lifetime member of the Chelmsford Elks and IBEW Local of Lowell. Ken enjoyed walking, reading, vegetable gardening and Civil War history.
He is survived by a son and daughter in-law, Rev. Donald and Jane Byam of Englewood, FL; two daughters and a son in-law, Joyce Byam of Manchester, CT, Marilyn and Stephen Quinn of Lunenburg, MA; a daughter in-law Susan Byam of Weeki Wachee, FL; a sister, Jean Jelley of NH; seven grandchildren, Colby Ann, Jon, Cory, Jessica, Meredith, Mark and Austin; five great grandchildren; many nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his son, Wayne Byam who died April 1 , 2007 of Weeki Wachee, FL; a grandson, Zachary Quinn who died July 22 , 2012 of Lunenburg; a brother, John Byam of Wilmington, DE; two sisters, Beth Yates and Janet Shiraldi both of Lowell, MA. Ken was a delight to be with as evident by the many friends who cared for him, especially those friends and staff at Princeton Station.
He will be remembered always as a grateful man, a spiritual man and a Patriot, a gentle man who loved life in its entirety. He leaves behind a legend for sharing much long-forgotten history and Chelmsford folk lore, and for growing the largest best tasting tomatoes on earth. Ken will be dearly missed by many.
Visiting hours Wed . 3:00 to 7:00 P.M. Funeral Thursday at 11:00 a.m. in the DOLAN FUNERAL HOME, 106 Middlesex St., Chelmsford, MA. Burial at Heart Pond Cemetery, Chelmsford. ARRANGEMENTS BY DOLAN FUNERAL HOME 978-251-4041.