Nebraska truly lost one of its most loyal and dedicated leaders this week, as it was reported that Dennis M. Byars, 81, a longtime public servant in the southeast part of the state, passed away at his home.
According to the Lincoln Journal Star, Byars served as a Nebraska state senator, representing Gage County, from 1988-1994 and again from 1999-2006.
The active politician served in countless other roles in the state, including as justice of the peace from 1969-1972, on the Beatrice Board of Education in 1972, as a Gage County Board of Supervisors member from 1977-1983 and again from 2009-2022.
He served in elected offices for 38 years over the course of seven decades, and was elected to various positions 11 times. https://t.co/eltivFZODM
— JournalStar Neb news (@LJSNebraskaNews) April 15, 2022
Myron Dorn, the District 30 state senator, heaped praise on Byars for mentoring him in Nebraska politics and issues, adding that Byars is one of the main reasons he chose to also run for state Senate.
“He was definitely a thrill to serve with and I learned a lot from his many levels of politics,” Dorn said, according to the outlet.
Dorn added: “He was the one who encouraged me to run for state senator because he was one and he helped me in that process. It’s very sad to see him pass. I’d like to thank him for all of the tremendous help he gave and service he gave to Gage County and the surrounding communities.”
“He was a really good ambassador for Gage County throughout the state as a member of the Legislature and County Board member. That presence is definitely going to be missed,” said Erich Tiemann, chairman of the Gage County Board of Supervisors.
Byars leaves behind his wife, Janet, and two sons, Mark and Jonathan. Clearly, he will be missed by many, and Nebraska likely won’t be the same without him.