Thomas Jefferson Tyus, 93, a lifelong resident of the Dellwood Community, passed away on April 28, 2018, at his youngest daughter’s home in Marianna, Florida, with his girls and his niece, Carol Standland, by his side.
Born March 19, 1925, to Elijah and Sally Tyus of Dellwood, Thomas was the fourth of twelve children. Prior to his military deployment in 1946, he married Hazel Alford. After almost fifteen years of loving their nieces and nephews, they were blessed with their first daughter, Phyllis Renee and four years later, their baby, Tammie Lynn, made the family complete. Thomas and Hazel were married 53 years prior to her death in 1999 after she lost her battle with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. After being a widower for five years, Thomas began courting Elaine Lawrence Culpepper, a lifelong friend. They celebrated fourteen years of wedded bliss on March 27 of this year.
A farmer by trade, Thomas was also a proud World War II veteran where he served in the US Army. He was forced to leave school in the fourth grade and return to the family farm to help raise his younger siblings. When his military duty was complete, he enrolled in Jackson County Adult Education and one of his proudest moments was earning his high school diploma through that program. He later served on the Jackson County Board of County Commissioners and worked at Apalachee Correctional Institution. He retired from the Florida Department of Corrections while working at River Junction Correctional Institution.
He was a lifelong member of Welcome Assembly of God where he served in a number of capacities including Christ Ambassador leader, Adult Sunday School teacher and as deacon. Among his greatest joys in life was time spent with his wife, children and grandchildren; attending services at Welcome Assembly and Circle Hill; and eating catfish at The Oaks.
Thomas was preceded in death by his parents, Elijah and Sally Tyus; his first wife and mother of his children, Hazel Alford Tyus; and his siblings, Jeff Tyus, Lula Applewhite, Martha Harrison, Alfred Tyus, Vivian Bell, Clara Williams, John Henry Tyus, Mary T. Edenfield and George Tyus.
He is survived by his wife, Elaine; his children, Phyllis and Leland Daniels, Tammie and Jamie Sykes; his grandchildren, Thomas Tyus “Ty” Daniels and wife, Kaitlyn; Phillip Everett ”Rett” Daniels and wife, Jordan; Morgan David Sykes and Lyndsey Hazel Sykes; one great-granddaughter, Halle Brooke Daniels; his step-daughters, Sharon Sapp and husband, Jerry and Glenda Cox and husband, Robert and their families; two brothers, Philip Tyus of Marianna and Rev. Harold Tyus and wife, Bobbie Jean, of Dothan, Alabama.
The family wishes to acknowledge the entire Covenant Hospice staff for the professional and tender care they provided and a special thanks to a real life angel on earth, his sitter, Felicia Hill-Martin.
Funeral Service will be at Welcome Assembly of God Church, 6784 Messer Road, Grand Ridge, Florida, Tuesday, May 1, 2018 at 2:00 pm. Interment will follow in the church cemetery with James and Sikes Funeral Home Maddox Chapel directing.
Visitation will be at Welcome Assembly of God on Monday, April 30, 2018 from 6:00 – 8:00 pm.
Those wishing to do so may make memorial donations to the Welcome Assembly of God building fund, 6784 Messer Road, Grand Ridge, FL 32442.