Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Obituaries

April 26, 2013

Thomas Richard Pyke

Jan. 8, 1932 - April 20, 2013

Thomas Richard Pyke, 81, went home to be with the Lord Saturday, April 20, 2013, in Naples, Fla. He passed away peacefully with family at his side. Tom was born at his family home in Center, Ind., on Jan. 8, 1932.

His strong work ethic began at an early age with early morning farm chores, running trap lines and 4-H activities. He graduated from Jackson Township High School in 1950 in a class of 14. Tom received his bachelor of science degree from Purdue University, where he was also an active member of ROTC. After college, he spent two years at Fort Belvoir in Virginia in the Army Corps of Engineers. He returned to Purdue University and received his master’s and Ph.D. in Industrial mycology and biochemistry in 1960. He worked for E.R. Squibb in New Jersey for two years before joining The Upjohn Co. in Kalamazoo, Mich. His career at Upjohn began in pharmaceutical research and, along with his colleagues, he was awarded eight patents. Tom was the recipient of the prestigious W.E. Upjohn Award in 1987. He finished his career in management as director of bioprocess research and development and retired in 1992 with 30 years of service.

Tom and family lived on a farm in Schoolcraft, and then moved to Portage. With Roberta Warnock, he raised three children, Neil, Lynn and Ann. He instilled a love of travel and the outdoors in all of his children. The family enjoyed backpacking and camping trips to Yellowstone, Florida, Mammoth Caves, Canada, and Isle Royale, along with many more adventures. The family cottage in Charlevoix, Mich., had a special place in Tom’s heart. It is a great spot for hunting morel mushrooms in the early spring, something Tom looked forward to each year. Many wonderful, happy times were spent there with family and friends. The kids and grandkids always loved it when Dad/Grandpa took them boating or biking and made homemade ice cream for all to enjoy.

Tom and Susan (Pontz) White were married Feb. 15, 1990. They were fortunate to travel extensively with the Purdue Alumni Association to many places, including Italy, England, Scotland, Austria and Alaska. In addition to travel, Tom was an avid Purdue fan and he and Susan took many trips to Lafayette to sporting and musical events.

Tom and Susan enjoyed living in Richland Township and in a home with acreage and a pond adjacent to The Upjohn Co. farm land. Working and maintaining their property was a labor of love for both of them and aided by his John Deere tractors. Though Tom moved away from the farm after high school, he maintained a love for gardening and farming. He enjoyed planting a huge vegetable and flower garden.    

They also owned Sycamore Farms in Indiana, in partnership with the Winger family. Though his work life was in the science field, he always considered himself a farmer first.

After retirement, he applied his keen scientific mind to other pursuits. He enjoyed investing, developing real estate and also became involved in local government. He was on the Richland Township Planning Commission and its board of review. Tom had a strong desire to give back to the Richland community and to help preserve the “country” feel of the Richland area.

Music was in Tom’s blood and he enjoyed a variety of genres, from instrumental to opera in his later years. He sang in church choirs, the “Sometimes Singers” and barbershop groups. He also played lively songs on his trumpet at family gatherings and parties.

Tom will be greatly missed by his wife, family and friends. He will always be remembered by his love of tradition and all things related to family.

Tom is survived by his loving wife, Susan; children, Neil (Patricia) Pyke, Boise, Idaho, Lynn (Jim) DeWitt, Caledonia, Mich., and Ann (Todd) Mora, Richland, Mich.; Susan’s children, Laura White, Royal Oak, Mich., and Lisa (Todd) Vigneault, Herndon, Va.; grandchildren, Lauryn Pyke, Kori Pyke, Tara DeWitt (Dario Diovisalvi), Scott VanderMeulen, Taylor VanderMeulen, Riley DeWitt, Celeste Mora, Dillon Mora, Spenser Mora, Devin Vigneault and Jenna Vigneault; great-grandchildren, Danika Barker and Cayden Barker; sisters, Judy (Donald) Winger and Jean (Roy) Lavengood, both of Kokomo; brother, David (Sophie) Pyke, Grand Rapids, Mich.; mother of his children, Roberta Warnock, Richland, Mich.; and many nephews and nieces with special mention of farm partners, Steve and Brad Winger.

Tom was preceded in death by his parents, Jesse Earl and Dorothy (Phillips) Pyke.

The visitation will be from 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday at Farley-Estes & Dowdle Funeral Home, Richland Chapel, 9170 E. D Ave., Richland, Mich. The funeral service to celebrate Tom’s life will be at 11 a.m. Monday at Gracespring Bible Church (formerly Richland Bible Church) at 8643 Gull Road, Richland. A time of fellowship and a luncheon to continue Tom’s life celebration will immediately follow the service at the church. Final interment will be in Prairie Home Cemetery, Richland, after the luncheon with the United States Army Honor Guard bestowing military honors.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in Tom’s honor may be directed to Avow Hospice, 1095 Whippoorwill Lane, Naples, FL 34105-3847. Their care and compassion enabled Tom to pass away peacefully and in the presence of family in his own home or the Gracespring Bible Church, 8643 Gull Road, Richland, MI 49083, where Tom enjoyed singing in the choir and attended church regularly.

Personal messages for the family and/or favorite memories of Tom may be placed at www.farleyestesdowdle.com.

For more on this story and other local news, subscribe to The Kokomo Tribune eEdition, or our print edition

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Obituaries
  • Theresa A. Young Theresa A. Young, 52, Kokomo, died Friday, April 18 2014. Bluitt & Son Funeral Home is handling the arrangements. Theresa A. Young

    April 20, 2014

  • Funerals, April 20, 2014 Kinsey, Roy Leslie, services are 10 a.m. Tuesday at Zion Lutheran Church, 173 Hale Drive, Wabash. Duncan, Nora Ethel, services are 10 a.m. Tuesday at Ellers Mortuary Webster Street Chapel, 3400 S. Webster St. Rayl, Beverly Susan "Susie", services are

    April 20, 2014

  • OBT - KT042014 - Beverly Rayl obit - PIC Beverly Susann 'Susie' Rayl Beverly Susann "Susie" Rayl, 84, passed away Thursday, April 17, 2014, at Waterford Place. She was born July 10, 1929, in Howard County to Russell Lowell and Vera Deloras (McCarty) Fisher. She graduated from Kokomo High School in 1947. She married Ge

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • OBT - KT042014 - SUN Bal Raj Nijhawan obit - PIC Bal Raj Nijhawan Dr. Bal Raj Nijhawan, 98, Sun City Center, Fla., formerly of Kokomo, entered into rest Sunday, April 6, 2014, following a brief illness, with his family present. He was born in Lyallpur, India, to Lala Sukh Diyal and Rajwanti (Kochar) Nijhawan. He ma

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • OBT - Lutz obit pic James R. Lutz James R. Lutz, 72, Kokomo, passed away at 5:10 p.m. Friday, April 18, 2014, at his home after a courageous battle with cancer. Jim was born Sept. 8, 1941, in Elizabethtown, Ky., to John and Stella (Cartwright) Lutz. In 1961, he married Shirley L. (Mi

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Reta Gail Moore Reta Gail Moore, 63, died Thursday, April 17, 2014, at St. Vincent Hospital in Indianapolis. Memorial services will be at 11 a.m. Thursday at Lutheran Church of Our Redeemer, 705 Southway Blvd. E., with Pastor Bill Allison officiating. Burial will f

    April 20, 2014

  • OBT - KT042014 - Nora Ethel Duncan obit - PIC Nora 'Ethel' Duncan Nora "Ethel" Duncan, 87, Kokomo, passed away at 9 a.m. Monday, April 14, 2014, at Waterford Health Campus, Kokomo. Born Oct. 3, 1926, in New Castle, she was the daughter of the late Walter Thomas Reavis and Hattie Ethel (West) Reavis. On June 20, 195

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • OBT - Washam pic William G. 'Willie' Washam William G. "Willie" Washam, 84, passed away at 7:20 p.m. Wednesday, April 16, 2014, in Knoxville, Tenn. He was born Aug. 17, 1929, in Union County, Tenn., to Harvey Logan and Ina Esther (Dukes) Washam. On April 3, 1952, Willie married Tressie Lou Wol

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Donald E. Newman Donald E. Newman, 78, died at 1:30 a.m. Thursday, April 17, 2014, at Community Howard Regional Health in Kokomo. Memorial services will be at 10 a.m. Saturday at Shirley & Stout Funeral Home & Crematory, 1315 W. Lincoln Road, with Pastor Sharon Walk

    April 20, 2014

  • Teresa Ann (Reeves) Hannibal Teresa Ann (Reeves) Hannibal, 67, Kokomo, died at 2:40 p.m. Friday, April 18, 2014, in her home. Funeral arrangements are pending with Ellers Mortuary Webster Street Chapel with a full obituary to follow. Teresa Ann (Reeves) Hannibal

    April 20, 2014

Latest news
Featured Ads
Only on our website
AP Video
Raw: More Than 100,000 Gather for Easter Sunday Raw: Greeks Celebrate Easter With "Rocket War" Police Question Captain, Crew on Ferry Disaster Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Obituaries
Poll
Kelly Lafferty's video on Tom Miller