Rufus Tyree went home to his Saviour in Heaven on Tuesday, August 11, 2015 at Forest Glen Assisted Living in Dowagiac. He was 90 years old. Rufus was born on August 21, 1924 to Charles and Matilda (Holcomb) Tyree in Van, Kentucky. He was drafted into the U.S. Army on July 7, 1943, serving with the 467th Anti-Aircraft Artillery Battalion, Battery C, serving at D-Day in Normandy, Northern France, Ardennes (Battle of the Bulge), Rhineland, and Central Europe. He earned the Purple Heart, European African Middle Eastern Service Ribbon with 5 Bronze Service Stars, the Good Conduct Medal, Bronze Arrowhead. He was honorably discharged on December 28, 1945.
Upon returning from the war, he met the new local schoolteacher, and on December 9, 1946 Rufus and Emilee Cornett were married and thereafter moved to Michigan. In 1987 Rufus retired from Simpson Paper Company in Vicksburg after 33 years of employment. He was an avid gardener and beekeeper, and loved to mow the lawn. He served on the boards of Three Rivers Bible Church, Bethany Chapel, and Centreville Baptist Church, of which he was a member. He taught Sunday School for many years and loved working in church.
Preceding him in death are his first wife of 46 years, Emilee; son, Timmie Dale; daughter, G. Kaye McNally; and his second wife of 14 years, Maxine Crouch. Surviving are children, R. Glenn and Donna Tyree of Columbia City, IN, Gwen and Andrew Johnson of Decatur, MI, and Mike and Linda McNally of Schoolcraft, MI; a brother, Tom and Mary Tyree of Whitesburg, KY; several nieces and nephews; grandchildren Robb and Deborah McNally Koops, Peter and Susan McNally, J. Scott and Jana Tyree, Matthew and Leah Tyree, and Emilee G. Johnson; and nine great-grandchildren. He also leaves his special and loving caretakers and friends at Forest Glen Assisted Living.
A private memorial service will take place with Pastor Dave Peterson of the Centreville Baptist Church officiating. Memorials may be directed to the Centreville Baptist Church. Arrangements were by the Eickhoff Funeral Home of Mendon. Condolences may be expressed to the family online at www.eickhofffuneralhome.com