Warrior Memories: 1957 DN grad Byron Justus

By Dick Trone October 24, 2011 07:43 pm

Most people from later eras will probably remember him as Dr. Justus the dentist, but to those of my generation he will always be “Bub.”

Byron Justus, a 1957 Del Norte graduate, entered high school with many of us looking forward to some exciting times watching him perform as a Warrior.

My dad Shirley Trone was  Bub’s coach at Crescent Elk and I can remember him saying this young man was the best pure shooter of a basketball of any kid he had ever coached. He later changed his tune when Joe Taylor came along a few years later, but still rated them a toss-up.

While at Del Norte, Byron played football and basketball all four years. He was a member of coach Wally Macial’s first lightweight basketball team, and he also participated on the golf team — a sport he still enjoys. As a senior, Bryon was voted the most outstanding male athlete in the class. He was also active in other school activities, as both a member of the Key club and the Letterman’s club.

I still remember a fun story from years after his retirement. It was about 2000 and the committee that sponsors safe and sober graduation sold tickets for a chance to try to make a shot from halfcourt during halftime of the varsity basketball  game. This night, Byron’s name was drawn and I remember saying to the person standing next to me, “he will make this.” Sure enough, “swish”  and the shot went through. He still hadn’t lost his touch.

After graduation, Byron went to Fresno State University, where he was a part of its basketball program for two years. After four years at Fresno he decided to become a dentist and enrolled at the University of Pittsburgh Dental School. After graduating from dental school he served two years as a captain in the Air Force as a dentist.

Bryon then returned to Crescent City, where he had a dental practice for many years until his retirement. Bryon and his wife now live in Sun City West in Arizona. He says it is a great place to live, with warm weather and access to seven golf courses where all he has to do is get in his golf cart and drive to a course and enjoy himself.

In talking with Bryon on the phone, I could tell this former classy Warrior standout is enjoying his retirement.

Dick Trone writes on his reflections and the history of Del Norte High Warrior sports. Trone, who played football for the Warriors and graduated in 1951, had an illustrious career on the gridiron at Humboldt State University. Trone was head football coach at Del Norte High for a number of years before retiring.