Dr. Kent Brown Tyler, Ph.D., born on December 20, 1926 in Fort Thomas, Arizona, to the late Mary Brown Tyler and William Oscar Tyler, passed away at age 92 on February 14, 2019 in Reedley, California.
He grew up in a large family and learned the value of hard work on the family dairy farm in Arizona. At the age of 17, he enlisted in the Army, serving in World War II, the Korean War, and the Army reserves; in 1976 he honorably retired as a Colonel.
Kent was an active member of the Church of JESUS CHRIST of Latter-day Saints. In September 1947, he received a call from the church to serve a mission in Brazil where he held a variety of leadership positions and became fluent in Portuguese. After almost 3 years in Brazil he returned home in July of 1950 and worked on the family farm, expecting to be called up to active duty because of the Korean War. The call came in February 1951 and his assignment was on the central front near Chorwan, Korea. He returned home in December of 1952 after which he went back to BYU to continue his studies.
Kent met the lovely Beatrice Hill while in the BA program at Brigham Young University and they married on June 5, 1953 in the Salt Lake Temple, Utah. They are the parents of 8 children.
Upon graduation from BYU in 1953, they moved to Tucson, to begin a MS program at the University of Arizona. During this time, he became active again in the Army Reserves, commanding a tank company. Their first two children, Verl and Valerie were born while in Tucson.
From Tucson Kent moved his family to Davis, CA in August 1955 to accept a teaching fellowship and obtain a PhD in Soil Science at the University of California. During the two-year program, Kent and Bea added two more sons, Duane and Ken, to the family. Soon after Ken’s arrival, the family moved to Riverside, CA where Kent worked as a Vegetable Crop Specialist for the University of California Riverside. While in Riverside, daughters Laura and Lynn joined the family and Kent was called to serve as a Bishop in the Church of JESUS CHRIST of Latter-Day Saints.
In early 1964, Kent went back to Brazil for 2 months as a consultant for IRI Institute of New York City, NY. Upon his return home he resigned from UCR and moved his family to Campinas, Brazil, where he served as director and chief of party of the IRI Research Institute of Brazil. In March of 1965, his 4th son Dan was born in Campinas.
Returning to America in December of 1966, Kent settled the family in Reedley and began work as a vegetable extension specialist for the University of CA at the Kearney Field Station. His 8th and last child arrived in May of 1969. Kent was in the horticulture industry with University of CA until retiring in 1991.
Upon retirement Kent traveled with Bea internationally, continued to serve in the church, and enjoyed many hours outdoors tending to their property and animals.
He is survived by his loving wife, Beatrice; his sons, Verl Tyler (Robin), Duane Tyler (Diane), Ken Tyler (Kelly), Dan Tyler (Shawnee), David Tyler; and daughters, Valerie Halls (Richard), Laura Karrasch (Craig), Lynn Tyler; 24 grandchildren, and 30 great-grandchildren.
Kent was preceded in death by his brothers, Loren Tyler and Elton Ross Tyler; and sisters, Lucille Greenwood, Carol Whetten, and Norma Weddle.