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The Life of Tyrone J. Wims
Tyrone had a good life, and he passed while engaged in one of his favorite activities––traveling to places that offered all he enjoyed–– including exploring diverse and exotic wildlife, the full bounty of nature, and cultural immersion. Although he traveled to many national parks and sites worldwide, his most recent trip was to Tanzania and Ghana. He passed away peacefully on Sunday, October 15th, at the Doctors in Service Clinic in Cape Coast, Ghana, despite good medical care and surrounded by good friends from his travel and wildlife group.
Tyrone enjoyed nature, wildlife, music, creative writing, his family and friends, new experiences, spirituality founded in his faith in God, and his beloved church: Love Missionary Baptist Fellowship.
Tyrone, "Ty" to some of his friends, was the youngest of five siblings of Calvin & Minnie Wims. His brother Andrew "Buddy" died in 2003, his sister Ethel passed away in 2004, and his brother James "Jimmy" died in 2009. He is survived by his brother, Warner Wims. The bond between Tyrone and Warner became even stronger after all the other immediate family members passed.
Tyrone felt a strong connection to his family. He continued to regularly honor his late mother Minnie and father Calvin throughout the year and especially on their birthdays and holidays. He had great affection for all his nieces and nephews, including the children of his brother, Buddy -- Joyce, Angela, Cheryl, Joyce and the late Brian Wims, the children of his late sister, Ethel – Billy Herbert, Corvetta Hollingsworth, and Sophia Herbert. He had great affection for his last remaining brother Warner’s daughter, Leslie Wims Morris, and her mother Letitia (“Tish”) Wims. He also enjoyed his cousins, particularly Annette Wims Kilgore and Priscilla Wims Greene. The children of his nieces and nephews were also adored. Tyrone developed a special, warm, brotherly bond with Greta Clarke Wims, the wife of Warner.
Although a bit of a recluse, Tyrone traveled extensively, especially with the help of a travel company led by someone who became a close friend, Peg Abbott. Peg, the head of Naturalist Journeys who traveled with Tyrone for over thirty years, was with Tyrone in his last moments of great joy in Ghana and his last moments in the hospital.
In Ghana, the locals continued with a planned Naming Ceremony that Tyrone had been looking forward to. They honored him posthumously by giving him the traditional name Papa Kwesi Ambantem, which is a name of respect, love and recognition of his depth of character.
Over the years, Love Missionary Baptist Fellowship became a special sanctuary for Tyrone where he felt welcomed, comforted, and part of a larger spiritual family.
Although reticent by nature and a self-described introvert, Tyrone found a resounding expressive voice over time by writing his thoughts. His beloved church, Love Missionary Baptist Fellowship, treasured his spiritual writings and poems. He created and edited The Love Fellowship Fountain newsletter, and he later wrote a book, God's Eternal Truth, still available at Barnes & Noble.
Although quiet, Tyrone had a witty sense of humor. He reveled in having something funny to say. On his Facebook, he frequently posted humorous and sometimes devilishly comical cartoons.
Music was a big part of the Wims Family experience, which led him to play the trumpet in school bands and orchestras. He especially loved jazz. He was fascinated by space travel, and especially the Mercury 7 astronauts’ mission, which interested him in possibly traveling in Space someday. He pursued and received a Bachelor of Science degree in General Arts and Sciences and a Master of Science degree in engineering science from Pennsylvania State University, as well as a Bachelor of Science in Engineering degree from Temple University. For thirty years, he was a test/project engineer for the Navy.
His hobbies, in addition to music and writing, included nature photography, travel, Tai Chi, Pilates, and Yoga.
Tyrone left the world in the process of doing what he loved. He was where he wanted to be, with a group of travelers whose company he treasured. He witnessed the sights and sounds of nature and remained at peace with himself and the world.
He is now on his last journey. We know it is on wings ––achieving his goal to soar into Space–– this time on his way to heaven.