Cover photo for Byron Duane France's Obituary
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Byron Duane France

June 8, 1943 — February 1, 2023

Byron Duane France

Our loving husband, father and grandfather, Byron Duane France (“Barney”) 79, passed away peacefully in Clinton, Utah on February 1, 2023 after a battle with dementia. It must have been a joyous reunion with his son, Dion and other family members and friends who waited to welcome him.

Barney was born on June 8, 1943 to his loving parents, Chauncey Leon France and Lola Elaine Winters in the Summit County Hospital, Coalville, Utah. He was welcomed by his big brother, Wallace (Wally) and later a little sister J’Neil. Byron’s namesake was his grandfather, Byron Winters, who was affectionately nicknamed, Barney. The nickname soon followed “Baby Barney” and Byron was known as Barney by all who loved and knew him throughout his life.

Barney grew up in the small rural town of Wanship, Utah. His childhood included his grandmother, Jennie Gibbons France, who lived through the backyard to him. He visited often for a cookie or an extra hug. Barney’s other grandparents, Byron and Lola Winters lived in Coalville. The close family of aunts, uncles and cousins shared time together celebrating birthdays and other important occasions. He graduated from North Summit High School in 1961, excelling in baseball, wrestling and drafting. He had a special relationship with his big brother Wally. They worked together for France Land Surveying on weekends.

Barney was tall, dark and handsome and a sharp dresser. He enjoyed beautiful cars. His first car was a black classic 1962 Chevy Impala. He polished it until he almost rubbed the paint off. He especially loved a Ford Blue pickup. It was decked out with chrome pipes, running board and fancy embellishments.

Barney married his high school sweetheart, Alice Carol Staples on June 28, 1963. They would have celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary this year.

Barney was a cowboy at heart. Carol’s dad Paul, said Barney would never be one. Paul thought Barney was too soft. Barney showed up at a cow and calf branding at the Staples corral one day wearing new boots, nice jeans and a white shirt. The blood, dirt and manure was flying everywhere. Barney was disgusted with the process. Paul and crew laughed at him and couldn’t believe what a “greenie” he was.

When first married the family lived in a three room home in Wanship. Barney’s first son, Dion Callan, was born while in Wanship and a year later a daughter, Melisa Noelle, was born. Both children were a splitting image of their father. A few years later the family moved to Peoa, Utah where Barney’s second daughter, Nicole was born. Barney and Nicole had a close bond. Just three weeks after her birth, Barney was left to care for baby Nicole after Carol had to return to the hospital. He jumped right in feeding, rocking and bathing the new baby.

Many new friends were made while living in Peoa. Game nights, home teaching, dancing at the Westerner, fishing, target practice, celebrating birthdays and other holidays was all part of the fun with these friends. Scrabble was a particular favorite of Barney’s and over the years family and friends who played him came to believe he had memorized the woodgrain on certain high point value letters because he always managed to end up with the “Q,” “Z” or “X” when in a close game.

In 1973, the family moved from Peoa to Coalville and built their dream home. Barney enjoyed having a place for his favorite horse, CG, a steer to raise for fresh meat, some sheep, chickens and dogs. He had a fear of birds, especially chickens. It was during this time his cowboy buddies, particularly Denny Wright, gave him the nickname “Coogan” from the popular Clint Eastwood movie, “Coogan’s Bluff”.

Barney was one of the hardest of workers and a man who didn’t need material things to be happy. He never had a credit card his entire life. If he didn’t have the money in his wallet or couldn’t write a check, he didn’t need it. At age 42, he retired from the Utah State Department of Transportation (UDOT). At that time, he started doing indoor/outdoor painting jobs. He was a handy man who did all kinds fixer-upper projects. The older ladies/widows in the area called him to fix just about anything. He usually only charged for parts and materials. Word soon spread of his kindness and talents. Carol nicknamed him the “Widow Helper”.

Barney was a valued employee at several businesses in Park City for several years. He really enjoyed his employment at Snyderville Basin Water and Sewer Distribution Co. where he made new friends and worked until retiring again. When he was not at work or doing farm work, he was taking care of his real love – his yard. His yard was one of the most beautiful on Chalk Creek Road.

He and his wife enjoyed traveling to San Diego, Las Vegas, Sedona, Scottsdale and Tucson. Annual trips to AZ to visit his daughter and family, were planned after harvest season on the farm. While Barney liked to travel, his favorite trip was the well-worn path back and forth to the Rodriquez Polar King for morning coffee and conversation with friends in Coalville.

Sports was a big part of life. In his younger years he could be found playing baseball or softball, something he excelled at. Later in life he had hundreds of TV channels to choose from where he could find any game he wanted to watch. The Green Bay Packers was his favorite football team and his attire usually included a Packers hat, shirt or jacket. He got a kick out of wearing his authentic Green Bay Cheesehead on game day.

Barney loved his family with all of his heart. He was happy that his oldest daughter and husband built a house right next to him last year. This closeness allowed his grandson AJ to spend quality time caring for him.

Survived by his wife, Carol, daughters Melisa France (Ray Saunders) and Nicole Stanton (Greg), Grandsons, AJ Saunders, Trevor Stanton. Granddaughters, Ashlie Jensen (Paul), Natasha Gibbons (Tim Barthman), and Violet Stanton. Great granddaughters, McKenzie Jensen, Alexis Gibbons and Madison Gibbons. Great grandsons, Ashton Jensen, Kamdyn Jensen and Jonathan Barthman. He is preceded in death by his son Dion and his parents and siblings.

The family thanks the people who cared for or looked out for Barney during his illness. Specifically, Barney’s brother-in-law William Staples (“Billy”) who kept an eye out for him on the roads and provided help anytime it was needed. Suncrest Hospice in Cottonwood Heights who helped Barney transition out of this life peacefully.

Funeral services will be held February 11, 2023 at the Coalville Stake Center at noon. A viewing will be held prior to the funeral at 11:00 a.m. in the Relief Society Room.

Funeral services are under direction of Goff Mortuary. A special thanks to Tracy Sargent for his loving care of the family’s needs during final preparations. Interment will be in the Coalville City Cemetery. Special thanks to Coalville 2nd Ward Relief Society for their compassionate service.

Funeral live stream click the following link:
Meeting ID: 925 5910 8597

Past Services


Saturday, February 11, 2023

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