American Veteran 04

David Earle Tyler

July 12, 1928 ~ May 26, 2020 (age 91)


David Earle Tyler went to be with the Lord on May 26, 2020.  The third son of the late Guy Earl Tyler and Beatrice Virginia (Slack) Tyler, he was born in Hartford, Iowa.   He graduated from Hartford High School in 1946.  He served in the Army at the end of World War II as an MP in Alaska.  Following his military service, he enrolled at Iowa State University (ISU).  He earned both a B.S. in Animal Husbandry and a Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine at ISU.  During his studies at ISU, David met his sweetheart, LaVon Smith whom he married in 1952.  They remained married for 66 years until LaVon’s death.

Following graduation from ISU, Dr. Tyler joined the faculty at Purdue University as an instructor in veterinary science.  While at Purdue, he earned his M.S. degree.  David then returned to his alma mater to join the faculty in the veterinary pathology department.  During his time as a faculty member at ISU, he completed his Ph.D. degree and became a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Pathology.  In 1966, he was recruited to become the head of the veterinary pathology department at the University of Georgia (UGA).  He accepted the challenge and the whole family moved south to Athens, Georgia.  He spent the remainder of his professional career at the UGA, College of Veterinary Medicine until his retirement in 1991.

David was a highly respected scientist, veterinarian, and teacher.  It was his role as a teacher that particularly brought joy to his professional life.  His excellence as an educator was acknowledged on multiple instances by his students and his colleagues.   He was named a Josiah Meigs Distinguished Teaching Professor by the University of Georgia.  This is the highest honor for excellence in instruction at UGA.   He was also the inaugural winner of the national Zoeitis Distinguished Veterinary Teacher Award.

David was a master woodcarver and enjoyed teaching carving to friends and his colleagues.  He also enjoyed traveling abroad with LaVon, and gardening at their home on Sunnybrook Drive.  He was a member of the First Christian Church, Disciples of Christ in Athens, Georgia for 46 years where he served as an elder.  He and LaVon became members of the Grace Community, United Methodist Church following their move to Fort Mill, South Carolina to be closer to family in 2012.

David was a loving husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather who supported and protected his family.  He is survived by his sister Georgene Tyler Fawcett; son John Tyler; daughter Anne Tyler Sink; two grandchildren Christina Sink Smith and Laura Sink; great-grandson Ian Smith; sister-in-law Martha Tyler; son-in-law Merritt Sink and grandson-in-law Tyler Smith.

For family members, there will be a service at Peterson’s funeral home in Carlisle, Iowa on Saturday, June 6, 2020 at 2 PM.  Social distancing and cloth masks will be part of the service.  Video streaming of the service will be available for those not able to attend.  Graveside services will follow at the Hartford Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, the family request donations to be made to the Grace Community United Methodist church of Fort Mill, South Carolina or the First Christian Church, Disciples of Christ in Athens Georgia.

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