Minden has only had a manager for 14 years, but for more than a quarter-century before that, there was Sheila Byington.
Byington served as the town’s sole office worker for a decade through the 1980s.
A private service was set in Utah where she died on Nov. 21, 2023, at the age of 76 from complications from a brief bout with cancer.
Born Oct. 5, 1947, in Logan, Utah, she grew up in Nevada and graduated from Sparks High School in 1965, according to an obituary posted on Allen-Hall Mortuary’s web site.
She married a year after she graduated, which was what brought her to Carson Valley where she raised her four children.
She went to work for the Town of Minden in 1982 where she proved invaluable. One of her earliest projects was making arrangements for a group of bankers from Minden, Germany, to visit the town in 1983.
In 1989, Byington and Gardnerville Office Manager Diane Pettitt teamed up for a Valley of Lights Christmas decorating contest in the two towns. It was that year that the Minden Park gazebo was decorated and lit in a ceremony the year before the Gazebo Lighting became an annual event.
One of her occasional projects was to survey town residents about a variety of issues, including just checking to see how the town was doing.
She was named employee of the year by the Carson Valley Chamber of Commerce in 2005, almost 23 years after she went to work for the town.
The following year, she helped coordinate Minden’s Centennial, serving as contact person for the project.
Byington resigned Aug. 29, 2008, one of many public employees lost due to changes in the state’s Public Employees Benefits Program for nonstate workers.
She worked as office manager for the Carson Valley Chamber of Commerce and was a Chamber Ambassador.
In 2007, she married R-C contributor Jack Van Dien and the two were together until Van Dien’s death in 2017. She moved to Wellsville, Utah, in 2021 to care for her aging mother.
She is survived by her four children: Dianne Balmain, Heather (Todd) Irwin, Michelle (Darin) Vandecar, and Justin Robison.
Services are under the direction of Allen-Hall Mortuary. Memories and condolences may be shared at www.allenmortuaries.com