Byron Austin Linden
Jan. 24, 1922 ~ Aug. 5, 2018
A grand storyteller, Byron Austin Linden, 96, passed away in peace on Sunday, Aug. 5, 2018, at Pioneers Hospital. Recently preceded in death by the beautiful love of his life, Josephine (Rodriguez) and his grandson Luke Austin Meakins.
Byron was born in Meeker Jan. 24, 1922, to Ralph Byron Linden and his wife Thelma Frances Fairfield, a first cousin to Freeman E. Fairfield. At the age of six, he, his parents, and two sisters, Audatheo and Phyllis, moved to Long Beach, Calif. Byron graduated from Long Beach High School in 1939. During the summers of his high school years and after graduating he returned to Meeker to help his grandparents, William and Kittie Fairfield on the Mesa ranch. After his grandfather unexpectedly died he went to work for Arthur Amick. He enlisted in the Navy in September 1942, and served for three years and four months. He was stationed at the Section Base in Monterey, Calif., where he met his future wife, Jo, at the USO. They were married July 9, 1943, after which Byron was shipped overseas in the Pacific for the duration of the war.
After completing his service, he returned stateside and worked at the motor pool at Ford Ord. Byron and Jo then returned to Meeker and purchased the Mesa farm from his widowed grandmother. Together they made a house into a home by adding electricity, indoor plumbing and heating. Byron continued to put his blood, sweat and tears into creating and cultivating a successful thriving farm. He was a darn good farmer!
“And on the eighth day, God looked down on his planned paradise and said, ‘I need a caretaker.’ So God made a farmer.
God said, ‘I need somebody willing to get up before dawn, milk cows, work all day in the fields, milk cows again, eat supper and they go to town and stay past midnight at a meeting of the school board.’ So God made a farmer.” ~Paul Harvey
Byron was a man of innovation and determination. He continually worked to improve his practice of farming, creating and etching out a living, developing the land into a paradise full of numerous bounties which could be seen throughout his thriving dairy business. He had one of the first sprinkler irrigated farms in the area and raised unconventional crops such as corn, cowpeas, Triticale to improve milk production. Along with his wife, daughters Jody and Mary, nephews Rick, Byron and Kirk as well as various young men and families from Meeker he built his successful farm. These bounties came in steadfast traditions, work ethic surpassed by none to leaving behind a legacy of grit, honest and courage that will be passed down through the generations to follow.
“It was President Thomas Jefferson who said, ‘agriculture is our wisest pursuit…and cultivators of the earth are the most valuable citizens.”
After an early “retirement” from the dairy business, Jo and Byron traveled to nearly every state creating everlasting memories with friends. They retired to sunny Palm Springs, Calif., finally returning to their native Meeker, Colo., to live out their golden years.
And to you Byron Austin—father, grandfather, great-grandfather—we will bid you a grand farewell. Thank you for the lessons, showing us how to do it right the first time, and for always entertaining us, when we thought we were entertaining you.
Loved ones that will miss this grand storyteller, this giant of a man who we are is turning his beloved wife around the dance floor until we meet him again, include his daughters Jody Meakins and Mary Elliott. His granddaughters Melissa Meakins, Molly Elliott, Rita Elliott Mingle and Sally Elliott. His great-grandchildren Colton Cheese, Kylee Cheese, Autumn McDermott and Addalyn “Stretch” Mingle. In addition to his nephews, nieces and friends that have become family.
Graveside services will be held Saturday, Aug. 11, 2018, at 11 a.m. in the Highland Cemetery.
“Carve your name on hearts not tombstones. A legacy is etched into the minds of others and the stories they share about you.” ~Shannon Alder