William Harold Van Tyle

December 13, 2011

William Harold Van Tyle, 93 of Frankfort, died at 6:30 p.m. December 13, 2011 at Wesley Manor. Born in Lafayette, IN on February 15, 1918, the second son of Jennie Cleo (Street) and Thomas Sanford Van Tyle. In his youth his family moved to Frankfort where he attended grade school and Old Stoney, graduating in 1935. While in high school he developed an interest in men’s vocal music, a passion he pursued in various venues his entire life. In 1942 he joined the war effort as an engine and airplane mechanic in the 195th Field Artillery Group, Third Army, under the command of General George C. Patton. As a light aircraft mechanic, he supported low level aerial reconnaissance missions in Normandy, northern France, the Rhineland and central Europe and saw action liberating Auschwitz, a German concentration camp. He participated in the Battle of the Bulge and the relief of Bastogne by Patton’s Third Army in the winter of 1944-45, the largest land battle of WWII. In a three-day period and in freezing temperatures, ice and snow, the Third Army halted a full scale attack they had started to the east, pulled back the entire army, swung around ninety degrees to the north, and then began another full scale attack on the southern flank of the German forces, a nearly impossible maneuver which historians credit as being critical to the ultimate Allied victory. He achieved the rank of technical sergeant and was awarded the American Theatre Ribbon with 4 bronze stars prior to his military discharge in 1945. Following the war he was employed by the Shanklin Hardware store in Frankfort, Alcoa in Lafayette and Kramer Brothers Lumber Company in Rossville. In 1958 he moved his family to Monticello, IN where he was co-owner of the Monticello Lumber Company until his retirement in 1983 when he returned to Frankfort. While in Rossville he was commander of the local American Legion post. In Rossville, Monticello and Frankfort, he was an active member of the Presbyterian Church as deacon, elder and choir member in addition to providing countless hours of community service through the Rotary in Monticello and Habit for Humanity both in Monticello and Frankfort where he helped establish the Frankfort Habitat for Humanity chapter. He was a member of the Frankfort Country Club where he enjoyed playing golf and also the Elks Lodge. In retirement he was a devoted grandfather to his two granddaughters making bed for their dolls and spending countless hours playing games.

Visitation and Services

A celebration of life will be held at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, December 17, 2011 at the First Evangelical Presbyterian Church, 352 W. Clinton St., Frankfort, IN. The family will receive friends following the service in the church Fellowship Hall. Private family burial with Military Rites will be in Green Lawn Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the Rainbow Haven, envelopes will be available.

Survived by:

He married Virginia Claire Hibbard on March 30, 1941 in Greencastle, IN and she survives in Frankfort. Also surviving are a son William Kent (wife Jeanne) Van Tyle, two granddaughters, Rachel Elizabeth and Emily Kathleen Van Tyle of Indianapolis, IN.

Preceded by:

He was preceded in death by his parents and two brothers, Floyd and Clifford Van Tyle.


5 Condolences for “William Harold Van Tyle”

  1. Lynn Maish December 15, 2011 at 10:51 pm

    Virginia and Family:
    Our condolences to you and the family. I was grateful to see you when my mother passed earlier this year. It seems that 2011 is a year of important changes in our lives that are sad but inevitable . Thankfully both Harold and my mom lived long full lives so we should feel blessed I think.
    Lynn (and Teresita) Maish

  2. Brenda Baugh December 16, 2011 at 1:51 pm

    VanTyle Family. Our condolences to your family. I pray God will comfort you during this sad time in your live. We will hold you in our thoughts and prays in the days to come. Sincerely Brenda Baugh and Family

  3. Mary Bridget Mathews December 16, 2011 at 9:36 pm

    Rachel and Family:
    I am so sorry for your loss. Your grandfather seems like he was such an amazing man. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your whole family at this time.
    Mary Bridget Mathews

  4. Bruce Clear December 16, 2011 at 11:23 pm

    Sorry to hear about the passing of your Father. I always enjoyed him at the Lumber yard in Monticello. He shopped at Garden City and I also knew him from there.He was a very friendly man.
    I know he will be missed.
    Bruce Clear

  5. Billie “Allen” Thomason December 17, 2011 at 9:31 am

    I was so sorry to hear about the loss of your father. He sounded like a wonderful father and Grandfather. He certainly accomplished a great deal in his life. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.
    Billie “Allen” Thomason

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