The Arizona Republic

Mary Jane Tyo


PHOENIX It is with sadness and joy that we announce the passing of Mary Jane Tyo one week shy of her 87th birthday. Surrounded by family and friends, on September 22, 2018, she slipped these earthly bonds, joining the many loved ones that had passed before. “Janie” as she was known, was born September 29, 1931 in Nelsonvill­e Ohio to Leland and Hazel (Rosser) Krieg. She attended Nelsonvill­e High School where she excelled in academics and also played the trombone as a member of the marching band. There she met her late husband, Clarence “Whitey” Tyo and in 1954, after a courtship that survived their separate college lives, they married. She graduated from “The Ohio State University” in 1953 becoming a lifelong supporter of that prestigiou­s institutio­n. She was a dual major at her beloved school and was a proud editor of the Makio year book as well as an active member of her sorority, Pi Beta Phi. She was an avid OSU fan and a life member of the Alumni Club. The following year she received her Bachelors of Science in Education from Ohio University and her teaching career began. The happy couple had 2 children and in the summer of 1963 the family packed up and left Ohio moving to Phoenix.

Janie began a 30-year adventure teaching English at a then relatively new school, Cortez High in Phoenix in 1963, retiring in 1993. During that span she returned back to school herself obtaining her Masters of Ed from ASU in 1966. She loved teaching and enjoyed interactin­g with the students, so many students passed thru her classroom and from Career Developmen­t to AP English Literature, educating young minds was her true passion. She liked to brag that she had once Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton as a student! Many Friday nights at her house you would find a group of teachers and coaches discussing “world events” and what had happened at that nights Cortez football game! After retirement she remained involved with the school for another 10 years or so as a retired teacher.

She loved entertaini­ng friends and family and there was always something going on at the house. She was an avid bridge player and always looked forward to her weekly games. She also was quite a history buff and enjoyed talking about the Revolution­ary and Civil wars. She was a member of the “Daughters of the American Revolution” tracing the family tree back to an American freedom fighter. She also had a great-great-grandfathe­r who fought for the North under General Sherman during the Civil War. Throughout her life, during football season, the house was frequently decorated with Ohio State memorabili­a. This was especially true around Thanksgivi­ng when the annual game between Ohio State and “that team up north” was played! She would often remind us that Woody Hayes and his players didn’t say the name Michigan out loud! She would leave the room during stressful times in the game stating, “I can’t watch”, but would always return to see the end. Janie loved literature and reading as well as theater. It was at Cortez that she met fellow teacher MaryAnn Parkinson. MaryAnn remained her closest friend until the end. Together they shared many adventures, sometimes with their husbands, but mostly without. Annual trips to the Cedar City Shakespear­e Festival or Bloody Mary’s on the deck in Mund’s park, they always had a good time. She never left the house without being well dressed in an elegant and stylish manner, almost always a hat of some type was involved. Janie and Whitey spent many summers at their retreat in Pinewood at Mund’s Park. They were members of the country club and socialized there as well. They traveled frequently to Las Vegas and Laughlin for extended weekends. During the early days there were several train trips from Nogales to Mazatlan Mexico for a vacation at the Playa Mazatlan Hotel.

But the truth be known, Janie was a survivor. Both her parents passed before she was 26, her dear college friend and her 2 sisters departed this earth too early. Her husband of 45 years at age 68, her dear cousin and her bridge partner, so many before her passed too soon. She would say that it was her lot in life to survive, as thus she would pick herself up and carry on. And she did. She traveled to Alaska to see her nephew’s hand-built cabin, she returned to Nelsonvill­e for several high school reunions, had a new place in Mund’s Park and many gatherings at home. “Mamall Jane” as the grandkids knew her, liked cooking and having the family together at holidays and special times. She also became an avid gardener and for many years her house was surrounded with beautiful blooming flowers of all types. It so inspired a neighborho­od lady that she painted a picture of the house in full bloom and gave it to her as a gift! She never, ever forgot how to laugh and enjoyed a good joke, even if at her own expense. In the end she left this world peacefully and was once again reunited with those who had gone before. She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband Whitey and her sisters Nancy Skomp and Sally Krieg. She is survived by her children Thomas (Kathy) Tyo and Lee Ann Tyo as well as 2 grandchild­ren, Tiffany Cortez and Krieg Tyo, 4 great-grandchild­ren, Kaylee, Koltan, Gunner, and Aubrey as well as many nieces and nephews. So, it is in her honor that we too will carry on. Celebrate her life and the lessons she taught: be on time, be compassion­ate, keep your sense of humor and for heaven’s sake do not end a sentence with a prepositio­n! There will be a graveside memorial service on Friday, November 2nd at 11am at the Green Lawn Cemetery in Nelsonvill­e Ohio. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that a contributi­on be made in her name to an animal rescue or local school of your choice. #GoBucks!

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