VeteranDr. William Tyree, PhD

Dr. William Tyree, PhDDr. William Earl Tyree, PhD, 98, of Rushville died at 8:20 a.m. Jan. 2, 2016, at Culbertson Memorial Hospital in Rushville.

He was born Aug. 14, 1917, in Rushville, a son of Earl C. and Mabel Mellow Tyree.

Surviving are several cousins; his caretaker and best friend Dana Hopping, who he always called “Buddy”; and 12 god children.

He was preceded in death by one infant brother.

He graduated from Rushville High School as valedictorian of his class. He graduated from Illinois Wesleyan University in Normal in 1939. He received a Bachelor of Divinity from Garrett Evangelical Seminary at Northwestern University in Evanston in 1942.

He was a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy during World War II. He served as chaplain from 1944-46 in the Asiatic-Pacific Theater aboard the USS Joseph T. Dickman. Afterward, he went to the United Kingdom and received a PhD in philosophy from the University of Edinburgh in 1949. He performed Post Graduate Studies at Cambridge University. He completed the Master of Sacred Theology (STM) Program at the Union Theological Seminary in New York. He taught at Ripon College for 33 years in Ripon, Wis. For 23 of those years, he was chairman of the Department of Philosophy, retiring in 1983.

After retiring, he was named Professor Emeritus and in 1989, he received a Doctorate of Humane Letters from Ripon College. While teaching at Ripon College he had Harrison Ford as a student. In the movie “Raiders of the Lost Ark” the Professor Tyree referred to is Harrison’s former teacher, Bill Tyree.

He was a Methodist minister and preached at Clayton and LaPrairie churches and at New York City churches. He was a life-long member of Rushville United Methodist Church where he occasionally preached.

He was a member of the Rushville Rotary Club and was a Paul Harris Fellow.

Funeral services for Dr. Tyree will be held at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday at Worthington Funeral Home in Rushville with Rev. Grant Armstrong officiating. Burial will follow on the family lot of the Rushville City Cemetery. Military Honors will be conducted by the U.S. Navy and Schuyler American Legion Post #4.

Memorials may be made to Culbertson Hospital Foundation or Schuyler Senior Center.

Condolences may be sent to


Published in the Astoria South Fulton Argus on 1/6/2016


Current Obituaries in the Astoria South Fulton Argus