Obituary Details

Jane Rothrock Tyrrel

(09/09/1901 - 06/20/2004)
Courtesy of The Lusk Herald, 05/31/2004

Jane Tyrrel

A celebration of the life of Jane Tyrrel, 102, was held June 23, 2004 at the Cicmanec-Pier Funeral Home. Jane died June 20, 2004 at Memorial Hospital of Converse County.

Jane Rothrock Patterson Tyrrel was born September 9, 1901 at Harrisburg, Penn., to Henry Russell Patterson and Bertha Rothrock Patterson. She went to the Harrisburg schools and in 1924 graduated from the School of Library Science at Drexel University in Philadelphia, Penn.

She served 11 years in the Pennsylvania State Library as assistant cataloguer and finally as an assistant genealogist.

During this period, she developed a hobby of flying, becoming the first woman pilot in central Penn., and was a member of a flying club along with Amelia Earhart.

The state library job was a political one and the Democratic landslide put an end to the library position and money to support the flying hobby as well.

On a trip around the country, Miss Patterson liked Wyoming so well she decided to settle here. She taught country school for five years at Jay Em and Rawhide before going to Casper as cataloguer and first assistant in the library there. In 1947 she went to the Wheatland Library as head librarian.

In October, 1949, she married Walter S. (Happy) Tyrrel and went to live on the ranch. She began working part time at the Lusk Library in 1950 and in 1957 took charge of the library. The library improved greatly in this time period, increasing the staff to four employees. She retired in 1966. All during these years, she remained active in her life at the ranch especially enjoying lambing time.

The Tyrrels moved into Lusk in 1973 and Happy passed away in 1975. Jane remained living in her home until November of 1985 when she became a resident of the Niobrara County nursing home. In 2001, due to the closing of the local nursing home, she moved to Michael Manor in Douglas, Wyo., where she resided until her death.

Survivors are her daughter-in-law Mildred Tyrrel, four grandchildren and their spouses; Carmen Shane and husband Jimmy of Node; Claude Tyrrel and wife Bonnie of Worland; Karen Gaukel and husband Kenny of Keeline; and Su Severson of Minneapolis, Minn.; nine great-grandchildren, six great-great-grandchildren, and cousin Betty Redfield of Lusk. She was preceded in death by her parents, her brother Kenneth, husband Happy, stepson Eugene Tyrrel and two great-granddaughters.

In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate memorials to the Niobrara County Library.

Cicmanec-Pier Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

The Lusk Herald
May 17, 1989
Jane Tyrrel: Helped modernize library

Jane Patterson Tyrrel has had a busy life and now enjoys resting and doing her family's genealogy work.

She was born Sept. 9, 1901, in Harrisburg, Pa., and attended the Library School of Drexel University in Philadelphia following high school. She worked in the state library in Harrisburg until the depression came along, and she lost her job.

Tyrrel said she took some of her money and took a trip after losing her job. She had relatives living in Wyoming she had never met, so she stopped to visit and fell in love with the area. She did not stay at that time because her mother was not feeling well and she returned home.

During the time she worked as a state librarian for Harrisburg, she was the first woman pilot in central Pennsylvania. She stresses the central Pennsylvania part because there were other pilots during that time in other parts of the state. She said one of the most memorable moments was her first meeting as a member of the 99 of the Woman's Pilot Association. At that meeting, Amelia Aerhart was the presiding officer. She says she cannot claim to be a friend of the famous pilot, but she did have an acquaintance with her.

She said she attended ground school in 1930.

She moved to Wyoming and the Lusk area a few years after losing her job.

"I couldn't find a library job right away because of the depression," she said, adding that she taught country school for five years after arriving in the area.

In February 1943, Tyrrel became assistant librarian in Casper. In 1947, she became head librarian in Wheatland and in 1949 she married Walter (Happy) Tyrrel of Lusk. She says when she married Happy she got an instant family because Happy, a widower, had a son.

The family ran a sheep ranch south of Lusk on the Goshen County line.

The Town of Lusk began demanding a modern library shortly after she was married, so the library board asked her to help modernize the library. She catalogued part-time until 1957, when she became head librarian. She retired in 1966.

Tyrrel and her husband moved to town in 1973. Her husband died in 1975.

"The ranch is now owned by Gene Tyrrel, Happy's son, and his wife, Mildred," Tyrrel said.

"I'm happier living in Wyoming than I would be in any big city," she says, noting why she has remained in Wyoming.

She boasts about having four grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild.

Tyrrel moved to the Niobrara County Memorial Nursing Home in November 1985.

Among her most recent accomplishments was her participation in the Torch Run for the Cowboy State Games, which came through Lusk earlier this month. She was the first of four residents at the nursing home to carry the lighted torch for a short distance and passed it to another person.

She tells of the activity with pride.

Images & Attachments

1981 - Over 100 people attended the open house honoring Jane Tyrrel on her 80th birthday
Jane carried the Cowboy State Games Torch at the nursing home in 1989
At 91, Jane Tyrrel was featured in the Lusk Herald spotlight
Jane Tyrell observed her 99th birthday in September of 2000
Photo courtesy of the Joshua Brackett Eagle Scout Project

Related/Linked Records

Record Type Name
Obituary Tyrrel, Eugene (07/29/1916 - 03/07/1993) View Record
Obituary Tyrrel, Walter (04/06/1888 - 09/26/1975) View Record
Obituary Tyrrel, Mildred (03/01/1914 - 09/10/2004) View Record
Obituary Tyrrel, Frances (04/09/1965 - 04/09/1965) View Record
Obituary Tyrrel, Christeen (04/09/1965 - 04/17/1965) View Record
Historical Niobrara County Library History, part 2 by Edithe Foley View Record
Historical Niobrara County Library History, part 3 by Jane Tyrrel View Record
Historical Hobbs, William (family information) View Record
Historical Tyrrel, Walter S. and Family View Record