He formerly worked at the Ellis Feed Store, Linton Auto Parts, his father's Marathon gas station, and at J. L. Wilson's Construction. He retired in 1999 from Peabody Coal Company.
Sonny was a member of the Lebanon Baptist Church in Midland, and was on the 144th Walk to Emmaus.
Other memberships include the Linton Masonic Lodge 560, Scottish Rite and Zorah Shrine, both of Terre Haute, a life member of Gold Wing Road Riders Association, and the United Mine Workers of America.
Survivors include his wife, Connie Jo (Bellamy) Byers, to whom he was married June 2, 1963; two sons, J. Scott (Charla) Byers of Midland and Kevin Byers of Linton; two sisters, Donna (Butch) Dicus of Linton & Bea (Norman) Lovelace of Dugger; three grandchildren, Chaye Lynn Byers, Devin R. Byers, and Cameron S. Byers; and a step-brother, Joe Hart of Bloomfield.
He was preceded in death by his parents; a brother, Russell L. Byers; step-father Joe Hart; and step-mother, Marge Byers.
A funeral service will be conducted at 11 a.m. Friday, June 22, at Welch & Cornett Funeral Home in Linton, Dr. Brad Darr officiating.
Burial will follow at Fairview Cemetery in Linton.
Visitation will be from 3-8 p.m. Thursday and at 9 a.m. Friday prior to the service. There will be a Masonic memorial service at 7 p.m. Thursday at the funeral home.
The family has suggested that memorial contributions be made to the Lebanon Baptist Church Building Fund through the funeral home.
Online condolences can be made at www.welchcornett.com.