Byron Duane Floch, also known as Feath and Opa, passed away peacefully on March 21st at the age of 84. Born in Asotin County on August 10, 1927 to Chalsey and Florice Floch, Byron grew up on a wheat and cattle farm near Asotin until the family moved across state in 1944 to a dairy farm in Enumclaw. He graduated from Enumclaw High School in 1945.
After graduation, Byron spent the next nine months in the U.S. Navy before attending Washington State University (WSU) where he majored in Business Administration. It was at a WSU dance where Byron first met his future bride Beverly Doolittle. “Lord Byron” continued to pursue her until his persistence, humor, and boyish charm finally won her over. Two weeks after they graduated in 1951, By and Bev’s 60-year marriage began.
Having received a U.S. Air Force commission at WSU, Byron was called to two years of active duty in 1952. The family moved to Spokane in 1954 where he began his 43-year career as a securities salesman/investment advisor, before retiring in 1997.
An avid history buff and talented musician, Byron kept the world entertained throughout his lifetime singing and playing the sax, clarinet, violin, piano and organ. Highlights include a featured solo in the Spokane Symphony’s production of The Messiah, playing Pontius Pilate in a local production of Jesus Christ Superstar, performing lead in “The Four Winds West” barbershop quartet, and receiving an award from the City of Spokane for his performances at senior centers and retirement homes throughout the Spokane area. His last concert was on March 15, at the Riverview Care Center where he was a resident.
Byron is survived by his wife Beverly; four children (all Cougar alums), Debbie (Jim) Davidson, Karen Floch, Diane (Dan) Picha, and Duane (Elizabeth) Floch; and six grandchildren, Andrew, Lauren and Regen Picha, McKay Warter, and Hayden and Emerson Floch.
Byron’s passion for history and his musical talents will be remembered fondly by all who knew him. But it was his great sense of humor and tremendous love of family that truly defined him. As dad would say, “I resemble that!”
A celebration of By’s life will be held on Saturday, April 28, at 2:00 p.m. at Riverview Terrace, 1801 E. Upriver Dr., Spokane. (At By’s request, no flowers or gifts).