Bernard Dean Myers was born on Sept. 13, 1910, to Dan D. and Lillian Drayer Myers in Frankfort, South Dakota. He died on Sept. 5, 2020, just shy of his 110th birthday. He was the oldest of six children; the rest were girls.
Barney’s early years were spent in South Dakota, North Dakota and the upper Midwest. The family came to Montana when he entered high school, first in Miles City , then in Wibaux, where he graduated in 1927. He spent two years working on farms and ranches before he entered Montana State College (now University), where he graduated in 1934. He stayed another year to get his teaching certificate.
It was at MSC that Barney met his wife, Margaret “Bess” Griffiths. They married in 1935. They had three children: Joanne, Janet and Joyce.
Barney’s teaching jobs took them to Ingomar, Plentywood and Eureka before coming to Billings, where he taught math at Billing Senior High from 1942 to 1973. He also coached many sports before focusing on track and cross-country. His cross-country teams had five state championships in the early to mid-1960s.
Barney’s summer jobs during school breaks included driving buses in Yellowstone Park (six years), as a forest ranger in the Kootenai District (six years, including one in a fire lookout tower), surveying beet fields, and carpentry for the school district. He then went to graduate school and earned two master’s degrees. NSF grants then gave him the opportunity to study developing changes in math, including programing early computers.
In retirement, he and Bess enjoyed fishing and snowbirding until Alzheimer’s took its toll on Bess. She died in 1996. They had been married for 61 years. A lifelong athlete, Barney was still going to the gym until 2016, when he moved to Chapel Court, St. John’s.
Barney was preceded in death by his wife, Bess; his parents; daughter Joanne Schulze; and three grandchildren. He is survived by daughters Janet Lowney, Bishop, California, and Joyce Fletcher, Billings; six grandchildren, 11 great-grandchildren and four great-great-grandchildren.
No services are planned per his request. Memorials in his honor may be sent to the Alzheimer’s Association or any charity of your choice.