Col. Michael Byingto
n Col. (Retired) Michael S. Byington, 70, of Signal Mountain, passed away Friday, April 11, 2014, at his home. After high school graduation from Staunton Military Academy, Mike attended the University of Chattanooga where he was a member of Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity. He was the Army ROTC Moccasin Battalion Commander and, at graduation in 1967, received a BA in History, was a Distinguished Military Graduate, and commissioned a second lieutenant, U.S. Army Infantry. Among his Infantry and Aviation command and staff positions during 30 years of active service were Rifle Platoon Leader, 1st Air Cavalry Division, Vietnam; Company Commander of Infantry, 6th Infantry Division and 101st Airborne Division; Army Aviator, Command Aircraft Company, Vietnam; Commander, 120th Assault Helicopter Company, Alaska; Executive Officer, 1st Aviation Battalion (Combat) and Inspector General, 1st Infantry Division, Fort Riley, Kan.; Battalion Commander, 1st Battalion, 145th Aviation Regiment, Fort Rucker, Ala. He returned to Alaska in 1990 where he served as Senior Army Advisor to the Alaska Army National Guard; and Commander, Alaska Army National Guard. He was a graduate of Infantry Officers Basic and Advanced Courses; Fixed Wing Aviation Course; Rotary Wing Qualification Course; Airborne Course; and Command and General Staff College among others. Colonel Byingtons many awards and decorations included the Army Legion of Merit; State of Alaska Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart; Combat Infantry Badge; Army Parachutist Badge and Master Army Aviator Badge. Mike retired from the Army in 1996, and became Coordinator, Alaska State Emergency Response Commission; then Assistant Manager, Merrill Field Airport, Anchorage, Alaska, before relocating to Signal Mountain. He was a true patriot who had a genuine love of country. His favorite and most often-told stories were of his family, shooting skeet, fishing, bird hunting with his dogs, the soldiers with whom he served and those he mentored throughout the years. He is survived by his wife of 47 years, Tommye Thompson Byington; daughter, Stacey (Chris) Wynn; granddaughter and namesake, Margaret Michael Wynn; daughter, Emily (Chris) OKeefe; brother, M.R. (Harriett) Byington; sisters, Teresa Safford and Nora (Ed) Moulton; brother-in-law, Hal Thompson; nieces, Mitzi (Reed) Lovell, Kim (Johnny) Bylen and Amy Moulton; nephews, Steve (Rena), Jerry (Lynne) and John (Cara) Byington, Bobby, Jack and Joey Safford; a large extended family, dear friends and the brothers of Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity. Memorial service: 2 p.m. EDT Friday, April 18, at Signal Mountain Presbyterian Church with the Rev. Dr. William E. Dudley and The Rev. Margaret Ferguson officiating. The family will receive friends in Woodward Hall following the service. Private interment will be in Chattanooga National Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Mike's name to: Signal Mountain Presbyterian Church, 612 James Boulevard, Signal Mountain, TN 37377; The Freedom Alliance Leadership Academy at https://freedomalliance.org.; or Gideons International at http://www.gideons.org. Visit www.lanefh.com to share condolences. Arrangements by Lane Funeral Home, Ashland Terrace, 877-3524.