Thursday, July 3, 2008
Bobby Tyson remembered
By SUE WATSON
He was a man called by many names - Dr. Tyson, Bob, Bobby, Daddy - but his trademark was gentleness, kindness and love unto all.
Dr. Robert Emmon Tyson, 80, was laid to rest at Hill Crest Cemetery Monday following a memorial service at First United Methodist Church in Holly Springs.
Tears were shed and laughter shared as Tyson was remembered by his family. His son, Robert E. Tyson Jr., shared intimate family stories, calling out the names of Carolyn Tyson and each child and grandchild. Each family member was reminded how much Tyson loved them.
The Rev. Milton Boyd, in opening remarks, said his first contact with Tyson was on his first visit to the parsonage in Holly Springs.
Tyson, ever a gentle guide and teacher, helped Boyd feel at home.
“You can relax, Milton,” Tyson said. “If you love these people, they’ll love you back.”
The community looked forward to the Sunday school class and Bible study Tyson led. And as a part of the prison ministry, Tyson was missed by the prisoners when he became sick and down. The prisoners would ask when he would be back, Boyd said.
“This church will miss him,” Boyd said. “His life has been about service.”
Several of Tyson’s favorite scriptures were read from his personal Bible during the memorial services.
They began with the comforting words of the Psalmist and from Jesus Christ - “The Lord is My Shepherd... “I lift mine eyes to the hills from whence cometh my help... “Let not your heart be troubled....”
Robert Tyson Jr., said his dad loved everyone the same, without reservations or favor.
And as he got old his love kept growing, even after a bout with colon cancer in 1995, and he kept on loving another 13 years.
“He loved Mom more today than yesterday,” Tyson said.
Dr. Bob was a role model to his children and by example taught them how to have healthy relationships, a healthy marriage and to be a good parent.
Some activities he adored centered around family vacations where family photographs were taken. Tyson loaded them on his computer, posted them on the refrigerator and looked at them often.
A latecomer to the computer generation, Tyson kept in touch with his family by e-mail.
He was remembered as a provider both for his family and his profession. He had a sense of humor and taught discipline by example.
An avid reader, Tyson read and reread Shakespeare and committed it to memory. As a grandfather, he loved to babysit and to work crossword puzzles with his family and wife Carolyn.
He was a great storyteller. Tyson was always on time, consistent in mood, manner and emotion and dedicated to the routine.
He got up early in the morning and had bacon cooking and coffee ready after bringing in the newspapers. At family or social gatherings, Tyson put on hamburgers and cooked for large crowds.
After retiring from his medical practice in Jackson, the Tysons built a home on family land in 1998 and moved back to Holly Springs to their beloved home, “Happy Hill,” in April 1999.
Bishop Clay F. Lee, presenting the eulogy, said Tyson came to love life more each and every day.
“A life is meant for growth and we can expand it, express it, and give life to it,” he said. “It gives energy to our lives.”
Lee said mankind of Old Testament times struggled with their relationship with God, as did Micah.
“How can we humans ever stand in the presence of God and feel the love God has for us is real?” he asked. “In Micah’s time, people felt they had to make a bargain with God before He would ever love them.”
“We shouldn’t take ourselves seriously, but do what is fair and just unto others, be compassionate and loving and take God seriously.
“Bob was the incarnation of these words,” Lee said. “He wanted justice for all, love that is alive and that refreshes and cools and sustains us.”
“When we take ourselves too seriously, we push God out of our awareness and life becomes all about what we want for ourselves.
“Bob is one who took God seriously,” he said. “He was the same always, not trying to impress people, just faithful to the task at hand.”
Tyson lived life unhurriedly, he said, but was always moving with purpose and single-mindedness.
Tyson was a man of unbelievable stamina, he said, “with a stamina so smooth, he was always the same.”
Tyson supported his wife Carolyn’s work at the church as she studied to become a diaconal minister.
“There was time and travel involved but somehow they managed it,” Lee said. “They opened their home; were people who just loved people.
“Bob knew what it was to love kindness, to do justice, and to walk humbly with God. That’s the message I want you to take home as you leave today. Put the memory (of the message) where you can touch it several times today.”
Pallbearers for Tyson’s service were Dr. H.M. (Mac) Addison, Blair Bingham, Iain Briggs, Fred Carlisle, Ralph Doxey Jr., Haden Hughes, Bob Lomenick and Charles Thomas.
Honorary pallbearers were Dr. David Beckley, Martha and Dennis Carlisle, Ralph Doxey Sr., Dr. Jay Earhardt-Brown, Barbara and Joaquin Garcia, Nita Gilstrap, Frances and S.B. Gresham, Clara and Richard Jordan, Vi Harviel, Jean Ann and Blanton Jones, Lou Jones, Doris and Ray McCullen, Dr. Dennis Morgan, Pat Stubbs, Hank Thomas and Valera Bailey Sunday school class.
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