An avid fan of railroads, dogs and friendships, Joseph T. Tyree, died at Holy Cross Hospital, Salt Lake City at 2 a.m. of heart failure on Thursday, February 28, 1991.
The only child of a prominent Salt Lake physician, Tyree was born September 11, 1921 at L.D.S. Hospital, the son of Joseph Edgar and Wilhelmina Elizabeth Tyree.Raised and educated in Utah, Tyree received his Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry from the University of Utah in 1943. While attending the university, Tyree was an active member of the fraternity Beta Theta Pi, where he established friendships that were to last a lifetime.
Leaving Salt Lake City upon graduation, Tyree earned Masters and Doctoral degrees in Organic Chemistry from Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana.
He pursued a career in chemistry in San Francisco, and later, in Utah, where he was a Salt Lake County Health Department toxicologist specializing in the identification of controlled substances. he frequently testified as an expert witness in various state and federal courts.
Prior to his employment by the county, Tyree spent five years at the University of Utah as a research assistant, working with Dr. Leroy Townsend on a cancer research project.
In June 1981, Tyree moved to Seattle, Washington, where he accepted a position as Criminologist II for the Washington State Patrol Crime Laboratory. Through June of 1984, Tyree again used his expertise in organic chemistry to analyze substances submitted to the crime laboratory for the presence of controlled substances. He was a highly regarded witness for the State of Washington in a number of court cases.
Returning home, Tyree spent much of his retirement helping others. Once settled in a new home, he began a routine of reading to the blind and volunteering his services at the Diabetes Department of the Holy Cross Hospital.
An avid enthusiast of railroading, Tyree traveled vast distances to ride on the few remaining steam-powered passenger trains. The trip from Salt Lake City to Denver and back was a favorite, as was the train ride to Southern California.
Ever a fan of self-improvement, Tyree joined the local chapter of the Toastmasters Club and delighted in forensics. The study of geology, indoor gardening and the culinary arts occupied much of his time as well. He never was known to turn down a good game of bridge either.
He developed skills as a fine cook frequently treating friends to beautifully prepared meals. His love of dogs was legendary, and he is survived by his beloved "Buz", a constant companion and great help as a trained `hearing ear' dog who helped Tyree maintain his independent lifestyle as his hearing deteriorated.
Tyree's survivors include many cousins and friends who will miss his kindness and interest in their lives and achievements. At his request, his body has been cremated and no funeral or memorial service will be held.
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