Welcome to the memorial page for

Byron Lemarr Tweeten

April 28, 1947 ~ September 1, 2017 (age 70)

Byron L. Tweeten passed away suddenly on September 1, 2017 of a heart aneurysm while visiting New York City. He was a resident of Naples, FL. Mr. Tweeten was born in Forest City, IA on April 28,1947 in Mount Valley Township to parents Lehman and Delores (Olsen) Tweeten.

Music was an important part of Byron's life and he had a gorgeous voice. He earned a Bachelor of Arts and Music Education (cum laude) at Wartburg College, Waverly, IA. He went on to obtain his Master's in Education Leadership, Adult Learning and Rehabilitation Counseling at the University of Wisconsin (Milwaukee). He was also awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Laws from Concordia University, Seward, NE.

Byron founded The Next Door Foundation, Inc., a Milwaukee neighborhood-based children and family service agency that specialized in at-risk children and families' education and treatment programs, in 1970. The Next Door Foundation remains a model organization for high success rates and social change in urban settings. Byron then moved to Hancock, MI as Director of Development for Suomi College. Byron was then recruited by Howard Brennen Associates to advise non-profit clients and consult on establishing funds for growth and development.

Byron founded Growth Design Corporation in 1981 and broadened his support for not-for-profit organizations to include diverse children and family organizations, health care, higher and secondary education, human and social services, public and private foundations, fraternal benefit societies and religious denominations along with their associated institutions.

Byron summarized many lessons learned over the years as a trusted and valued consultant in his book Transformational Boards – Engaging Boards and Embracing Change, published by Jossey-Bass in 2002.

Throughout Byron's life, he had a passion for serving and advising communities of faith and leadership organizations. Most recently, Byron had been working with Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Naples, Florida and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America refining the development and implementation of church models for the next century.

Byron was leading the development of Emmanuel Park underway on Oil Well Road. He was also Chief Executive Officer of Emmanuel Communities, Inc. and Emmanuel Academies, Inc., two non-profits created by Emmanuel Lutheran Church members to further the ongoing transformation of Emmanuel in Naples and its emerging ministries in Southwest Florida, in partnership with numerous local and national organizations.

Byron truly had a significant and lasting impact on many organizations around the world. His knowledge and expertise were well respected and appreciated. On the personal side he loved Ole and Lena jokes and improvising jazz on the piano. He will be greatly missed by those who knew him.

Survivors include his daughter Alison of Hoffman Estates, IL, his mother Delores Tweeten of Forest City, IA, his sisters Sonje (Tweeten) Brown and husband Dennis of Burnsville, MN and Nance (Tweeten) Sheimo and husband Tom of Fertile, IA., nieces and nephew Scott Brown and wife Theresa, Jennifer (Brown) Salmon and husband Brad, Trisca Dee (Sheimo) Mayberry and husband Jameson, special friends Bob Steckenrider, Kathy Tweeten and many close friends and associates.

Byron was preceded in death by his father Lehman Tweeten.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, October 7th, 2017 at 11:00 AM with lunch immediately following at Emmanuel Lutheran Church, 777 Mooring Line Drive, Naples, FL 34102. Memorials in his honor can be sent to PO Box 106 at 1590 W. Algonquin Rd, Hoffman Estates, IL 60192.


 Service Information

Memorial Service
October 7, 2017

11:00 AM
Emmanuel Lutheran Church
777 Mooring Line Drive
Naples, FL 34102

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