Former research librarian at the Willard J. Houghton Library Jill Kingdon Tyson ’85 lost her seven-year battle with metastatic breast cancer on Wednesday, August 31, 2016. It was her 54th birthday.
Jill was soft-spoken, peaceful and kind while at the same time fiercely advocating for more research into metastatic breast cancer and other invisible disabilities. Her passion came from her deep love of people—and, during the last three weeks of her life, Jill generously shared her final journey on her Caring Bridge website so that others’ pain might be lessened by her experiences. “I found myself very misunderstood during nearly seven years of treatment for MBC,” wrote Jill. “Everyone assumes you’re ‘fine’ because ‘you look so good’ on the outside.” Jill’s account was courageous, honest and patient—often sprinkled with her gentle sense of humor—giving friends and family members a rare look into what a loved one might need during their final days. “We never know the private challenges people suffer on a daily basis,” wrote Jill. To read her entire account, visit: www.caringbridge.org/visit/jillsfinaljourney/journal.
She is survived by her husband of 13 years, retired Professor of Theology Dr. John Tyson; sons, Randal Tyson and his wife, Lillian, and Joe Tyson; daughters, Jessie Tyson and Loralee Tyson; parents, Emeritus Professor of Christian Ministries the Rev. Dr. Harold Kingdon (’57) and Mary (Sell ’56) Kingdon; sister, Sheryl (Kingdon ’80) Johnson and her husband, Allen; brothers, Col. Edwin Kingdon ’86 and his wife, Deborah, and James Kingdon ’88 and his wife, Paula; and many nieces and nephews including Spencer Kyle Johnson ’12. She is also survived by an uncle, Dr. Douglas Kingdon ‘57, and his wife, Mary (Nichols ’58) Kingdon.