Claude Thomas Bybee, 92, was born May 24, 1927 at Preston, Missouri. He was the son of William “Henry” Bybee and Cora “Pearl” (Thomas) Bybee. Claude had an older brother Noble (deceased) and a surviving younger sister Roseland (Bybee) Martin.
As a youth, Claude attended Morgan School House on Highway 54 east of Preston where his future bride also attended at the time. Later, Claude attended school at Preston High School where he graduated. Claude married his high school sweetheart Edna “Faye” Johnson on October 14, 1945 in the Preston Methodist Church. Reverend Stevens performed that ceremony over 74 years ago.
Claude was saved by our Lord Jesus and baptized as a youth while attending Preston Methodist Church. In his later years, Claude and Faye attended Prairie Chapel Church located between Preston and Urbana on Highway 65.
Our Lord blessed the union of Claude and Faye with four children Eugene Claude Bybee and his wife Ruthie, Jack Henry Bybee and his wife Teresa, Jerry Ray Bybee and his wife Sabrina, Kathy Ann (Bybee) Gideon and her husband Lynn, 12 grandchildren, 27 great-grandchildren, plus one more blessing due in August of 2020. Claude was preceded in death by his parents, his brother Noble and an infant grandson, Jeremy.
Claude spent his entire life farming with his wife Faye at his side supporting him. They had very little in their early years as Claude started milking cows on the farm. Right after their marriage they briefly stayed with Henry and Pearl while they cleaned up and repaired the old house “across the field” where they were to later move. Since then, that has been the home of Claude and Faye Bybee. On that farm, they raised chickens, sold eggs, raised feeder pigs, and raised and sold cattle. While the farm itself was mostly poor ground, Claude learned how to make a living there and even thrive. His untiring work ethic survived many challenges, setbacks and trials. The children benefited from seeing Claude succeed through his hard work.
Claude was a strong and quiet man but his grace towards others was always known. He extended that grace to all and especially to his own children. His children always knew, without a doubt, that they were loved.
Claude loved spending time with his family, which included hunting, and watching his kids and grandkids play the various sports they were in. He attended local sporting events his entire life. He was always ready to go see someone play where he would enjoy the activities and the friends and families he met. You could also bet that he watched the scoreboard closely to make sure the score was correct.
During his life and in his “spare” time, Claude served as a Skyline School Board member, worked for the Department of Agriculture doing farm surveys, worked for farm services, and helped coach his children’s Little League teams. Claude always wanted to do the best and right things first, no matter what he was involved in.
Claude’s visitation will be held at Hathaway-Peterman Funeral Home in Wheatland, Missouri at 9:30am on December 23rd. The Funeral ceremony will follow at 11:00am. His internment will be at the Little Niangua Church Cemetery east of Preston.
In lieu of flowers, you may contribute to the Bybee Memorial Scholarship Fund at Skyline High School to support the future education of students.