Arthur's Story

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UNADILLA - Our beloved Jim, Arthur James Tyler Jr. was born Aug. 31, 1943, in Sidney, in the new Sidney Hospital. He returned to his family home on Sheep Pen Road in Unadilla, the same home he passed away in on Oct. 16, 2017. Jim died with dignity, peace and beauty in the company of his family following a long and courageous fight against cancer. He was 74 years old.
Jim attended Sidney High School where he loved participating in sports (football, basketball and baseball); choir; and student government, to name a few of his interests at that time. During his senior year, Jim was captain of his football team which went undefeated. Jim graduated in 1961 and he attended college at Northeastern in Boston for a year; followed by a year at Albany State.
Jim then entered the Army where he graduated with honors from the United States Army Security Agency Training Center and School. After this training period, Jim was stationed in Europe, where he was a security specialist.
After the Army, Jim returned to college, this time at Pace University in New York City, where he worked his way through school, earning a degree in business.
Jim then applied for graduate school and chose University of California Berkeley where he earned his MBA. He then attended law school at University of California Hastings College of the Law. As he had done as an undergraduate, Jim worked full time while earning his MBA and attending law school.
At age 25, during his graduate studies, Jim became the proud father of his only child, Jason. Jim had married young, at age 20.
Because of family responsibilities Jim was not able to continue law school. He was hired by Standard Oil of California in San Francisco. He worked in human resources and was responsible for personnel planning, performance management and the design and implementation of global employee benefits plans.
After progressing through increasing levels of responsibility at Standard Oil over the next six years, Jim took some time off for reflection and traveled abroad. He was in India when on a walk one morning he came upon some workers baking bread. The workers were sitting in front of a large outdoor oven fueled by fire wood. They were putting loaves of bread in the oven using long iron poles and then taking out the loaves after they were done. Jim watched the men repeating this simple process over and over. He had an epiphany. He decided that he too wanted to do simple work.
He returned home and resigned from Standard Oil and soon began working as a letter carrier for the United States Post Office in Petaluma, California. In spite of the many challenges this job presented, he enjoyed more mental freedom and lots of exercise every day. He also had more time to enjoy the things he most appreciated in life - time with his family; time with nature (backpacking, camping, skiing, ocean).
In 1983, Jim transferred to the Norwich post office in upstate NY.
At this time, he and his wife, Lee, bought the family home on Sheep Pen Road in Unadilla from Jim's parents, Art and Mary Tyler, who were moving to a simpler home next door. Jim transferred from Norwich to the Oneonta post office. He earned his own route soon after and stayed with the Oneonta office until fall of 1996.
In 1989, Jim and Lee were able to buy back 70 acres right outside their back door - land that used to be part of Jim's grandfather's old farm. Thus began their land stewardship and development of a wild life sanctuary as well as several organic vegetable gardens.
In 1996, Jim left the post office and with his wife, Lee, expanded their organic vegetable gardens, opening their own small business, Birdsong Organic Gardens.
Jim appreciated every precious moment with his wife; his son, Jason and his family; his parents who lived next door; and his land. He loved living a country life in beautiful upstate NY. He also enjoyed traveling with his wife, Lee, to many wonderful places including Nebraska for several months in the fall. Lee is from Nebraska and has four siblings there. Jim and Lee were avid Cornhusker fans at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, where they held season tickets in football and basketball and also attended women's volleyball games.
Jim will be remembered for his kind and loving nature; optimistic and positive approach to life; his unusual level of mental, spiritual and physical strength and his deep humility. He was a model son, father, husband, brother and friend. Jim had an interest in other peoples' lives and always took the time to have conversations with, and listen to others. He was able to relate to and empathize with people across the board. Jim also had a deep appreciation for all living things. He was known for his "bug jar" as he tirelessly rescued many a fly, bee, spider, moth and bug from his house, delivering them safely outside. In addition, he had a deep love for animals and was a vegetarian for more than 46 years.
Jim's parents, Art and Mary Tyler, predeceased him; as well as his two precious dogs, Chesapeake Bay Retrievers, Casey and Billy.
Jim leaves behind his wife of 35 years, Lee; his son, Jason; his granddaughter, Avery; Jason's family, Brenda and Nate; his sister and brother-in-law, Dawn and Jim Wright; his brothers-in-law, Dave (Cathie) Dinsmore; Stephen (Susan) Dinsmore; Richard Dinsmore; sister-in-law, Barb (Bob) Fleege; as well as many wonderful nieces, nephews and cousins.
To remember Jim, please do something kind for a human or an animal.
Jim's life will be celebrated at noon, Saturday, Nov. 11, followed by lunch at the First Congregational Church of Sidney.
Arrangements by C.H. Landers, Sidney.
Published on November 3, 2017
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