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Longtime Plainview resident Gloria Rita Byers dies at 92

An art enthusiast, she enjoyed painting, drawing, crocheting and handcrafting cards for her family, her daughter said.

Gloria Rita Byers, a longtime Plainview resident, died

Gloria Rita Byers, a longtime Plainview resident, died June 3 at age 92. Photo Credit: Family photo

Gloria Rita Byers, a longtime Plainview resident and loving homemaker, died June 3. She was 92.

Byers died at Wesley Health Care Center in Saratoga Springs, said her granddaughter, Brittany Matthews of Plainview.

An art enthusiast, Byers spent her days painting, drawing, crocheting and handcrafting cards for her children and grandchildren, said her daughter Susan Matthews. In her later years, her artistic skills blossomed, and she would generously give away blankets that she had crocheted, she said.

When arthritis made crocheting impossible for Byers, she donated her beloved materials and items to charity, Susan Matthews said.

She always encouraged and taught her children and grandchildren to explore their creative sides, Susan Matthews said.

“When we were growing up, she wasn’t one of those moms who was fussy about making a mess,” said Susan Matthews. “My kids are in creative fields, and I think that really helped them.”

Born Gloria Pericolo in Yonkers, Byers attended the Yonkers High School of Commerce, which has since been renamed. She then worked as a comptometrist for the Burroughs School of Comptometry in Manhattan and at Matheson Chemical (a comptometer is a complex mechanical calculator.)

While living in Yonkers, she was introduced to Ralph E. Byers, a World War II veteran and American Airlines supervisor, in 1949, Susan Matthews said. The couple married in 1951.

They moved to Plainview a year later, where they raised five children. Ralph Byers died in 1990, and Gloria Byers remained in Plainview until 2006, Brittany Matthews said.

Byers also enjoyed listening to country music and reading Amish romance stories, her family said.

In addition to Susan and Brittany Matthews, Byers is survived by her children, Ralph Byers Jr., of Lindenhurst, Stephen Byers, of New Smyrna Beach, Florida, Linda Pelletier, of Wilton and Ronald Byers of Holbrook; eight other grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.

A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 11 a.m. July 21 at Our Lady of Mercy church in Plainview. Burial and a memorial will be held at 1 p.m. July 21 at Pinelawn Memorial Park, where Byers will be buried next to her husband.

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