As many of you know, our beloved friend, teacher, and youth leader passed away in late 2013 after a painful and frustrating battle with brain cancer. Even in his last weeks Byron uplifted hearts in his church and community in the same way he always had: by noticing and appreciating people individually, by loving people just as they are, and by leading them closer to Jesus through his own example of discipleship.

For many of us, our most lasting memories of Byron are of the times at retreats and mission trips where he would lead foot-washing services. That tradition was one of his favorite ways to individually affirm each of the students in his care. He taught us the value and meaning of humbling ourselves to recognize, encourage, and support those who are with us. The memory of those services offers lasting encouragement to many of us to this day.

In an effort to tangibly preserve the potency of those experiences, as well as the memory of the man who created them, a group from St. Luke Lutheran Church has a plan. We are working together, hopefully with your help, to purchase the original Harry Antis painting The Washing of the Disciples’ Feet in order to display it in Byron’s honor at St. Luke, where he spent the last 13 (I think- correct. He started in June of 2000) of his life and ministry.

If you would like to participate in preserving the memory of this great man, donate here and make a one-time donation or checks can be made and mailed to St. Luke Lutheran Church, 4205 Washtenaw Ave, Ann Arbor, MI 48108 with “Byron Painting” in the memo line.

The painting cost is $4,000* and donations of any size will help. Whether or not you are able to contribute to this effort, please consider forwarding this message to others whom Byron taught and loved.

*Any donations received beyond the cost of the painting will go to support youth ministry at St. Luke Lutheran Church.


Sam Fink

Member of St. Luke
and friend of Byron