Paul Tyree was born on November 17, 1921, in Dewey County to Herbert (Hub) and Nellie Carpenter Tyree. On January 1, 2017, Paul went to celebrate the New Year with his Lord Jesus Christ and his beautiful bride, Betty, of 54 years. Paul grew up in Fonda, Oklahoma, and has many happy memories at the Fonda General Store that his parents owned. After graduating from high school in Seiling he moved to Idaho to work on Alfred Costley’s farm and traveled along the west coast.
Paul joined the Navy on November 2, 1940, at the age of 18. He worked at a naval hospital and became a Hospital Chief, also called a Chief Pharmacist mate, before heading to battle on a ship during WWII. His first battle was on Aleutian island of Kiska, Alaska. The battle lasted a week. From there he sailed to Saipan where his ship drew the enemy fire by going too close to the shore so the larger ships would know where to target. In Guam, they were stuck on a reef where they had to abandon ship. After reclaiming their ship, they continued on to Tinian, where Paul was hit with shrapnel in his back and earned the Purple Heart. From Tinian they headed to Iwo Jima and arrived 3 days before D Day. Once again, they drew fire from the enemy. The ship Paul was on was the only one not hit. In Okinawa, he treated soldiers so badly burned from the kamikazes that blasted their ships, that there wasn’t much he could do for them. Everything told, Paul brought home ten medals, counting his Purple Heart.
After the war, Paul married Betty Seals on August 10, 1948. His mother-in-law, Gertrude Seals, was happy about this because she told Betty, “I would marry him just for his lashes”. Paul spent 20 years of active service and 10 years in the reserve. He and his wife settled in a home in Corona, California. He went on later and earned his BA degree at California Baptist College in 1974. Even though Paul and his family suffered a huge setback from their train accident in 1968, he was a man who could reinvent himself as needed in his many careers: Postman, elementary school teacher, security and financial advisor.
Paul spent his last 10 years with his son Mike, in Longdale, Oklahoma. The biggest part of Paul’s life was being a follower of Jesus Christ. You would often find him reading his Bible. He was always sharing his faith. He showed his commitment to Christ by serving others through his prison ministry, visits to orphanages in Mexico, and many other places of service. This passion for Jesus he leaves in an everlasting legacy with his 2 children, Michael Paul Tyree of Longdale, Oklahoma, Rebecca and her husband Jeff Shaffer of Dana Point, California. And this legacy continues with his 3 grandchildren, who he loved dearly!, Tyree and Tanner Shaffer of Dana Point, California, and Raschelle and her husband Sean Blankenship. And now this love for Jesus is being passed on to his 3 previous grandchildren, Liam 15, Mila 4, and Olive 2. Paul leaves behind his two sisters, Darlene Robinson and Joyce Robison of Canton, Oklahoma. He was preceded in death by his parents Herbert and Nellie Tyree, Sister Shirley Curtis, and wife Betty Tyree.
Funeral services were held at 2:00 p.m., Friday, January 6, 2017 at Canton Christian Church with Steve Driskill officiating. Military honors were rendered by the U.S. Navy Honor Guard. Interment followed in Fountain Cemetery west of Canton under the direction of Pierce Funeral Home, Canton, OK. Condolences may be made online at www.piercefuneralhomes.com