The motorcoach and bus community is mourning the loss of industry veterans J.H. Byrd Jr., John M. Silvanie and Larry L. Wiersema.
They are being remembered for their passion for the bus business.
J.H. Byrd., 69, died August 1, 2022. He was the President of Salter Bus Lines, Inc./Salter Trailways, located in Jonesboro, Louisiana. He began working full-time for Salter Trailways in 1971, and eventually took over ownership and operation of the 100-year-old Salter Bus Lines/Salter Trailways.
The Jonesboro-Hodge High School graduate was an avid supporter of his alma mater who not only gave back to the school by arranging for the teams and fans to travel to away games in the comfort for over 30 years but also often times did the driving so that he could be there to support the teams, according to his obituary. The company was a long-time member of Trailways as it originally provided daily, intercity, fixed-route line run services and later shifted to charter bus service.
James is survived by his wife Patricia (Pat), secretary-treasurer at Salter, son Nathan Byrd; daughters Kathryn Byrd and Stacy Byrd Strickland (Jason); brother, William Byrd; and many grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and friends.
“J.H. lived a wonderful life and will be missed by all who he loved and cherished in this world,” according to his family.
John M. Silvanie
John M. Silvanie, 74, passed away after a brief illness on July 12, 2022. He spent many years in the bus industry, was president and owner of Suburban Charter and White Plains Bus Company in White Plains, New York. He served on national and regional transportation association boards, including the Bus Association of New York State (BANY).
Silvanie and his wife Patricia were married traveled extensively, enjoyed time at Long Island beaches and for many years cared for “Momma Glo” in their home in Ridgefield, Connecticut. He was described by his family in his obirtuary as an enthusiastic golfer and Yankee fan.
Larry L. Wiersema
Larry L. Wiersema, 71, of Morrison, Illinois, died July 1, 2022, in Clinton, Iowa. He owned and operated Wiersema Charter Service in Morrison.
His greatest joy in life was driving bus and spending time with his grandchildren, according to his obituary.
Wiersema served in the United States Army during the Vietnam War. In 1974, he married Janice Louise Forth. He began his transportation career driving a feed truck for Wayne Feeds in Rock Falls while in high school and worked at the L and M Service Station in Morrison. After high school, Wiersema served in the United States Army during the Vietnam War. In 1974, he married Janice Louise Forth, and later owned and operated Wiersema Charter Service in Morrison.
He is survived his wife, two sons, Eric (Lisa) Wiersema of Morrison and Gregg (Jackie) Wiersema of Chadwick, IL; five grandchildren, Hailey and Matthew Wiersema, Alicen and Cooper Wiersema, his granddaughter, Amy Monti, and three sisters.
Read about others being remembered for their contributions to the bus and motorcoach industry.