COLONEL WILLIAM JACKSON BLYTHE, SR. (United States Army Retired), a long time resident of Elkins Lake, Huntsville, Texas, departed this life on April 13, 2004. Born in Fordyce, Arkansas on February 26, 1907, the only child of Thomas Wister Blythe and Lola Parker Blythe. He received his education at the Universities of Arkansas, Centenary and Vanderbilt, and was admitted to the Texas Bar Association in 1934. In 1934, as a 2nd Lieutenant, he reported for active duty with the U.S. Army at Fort Sam Houston, Texas, and in the same year married Bess Tyson, daughter of Thomas Brown and Fannie Rose (Robinson) Tyson of San Jacinto County, Texas. Col. Blythe's service with the U.S. Army extended over a 37-year period. He was a graduate of the Infantry School, Fort Benning, Georgia, the Command and General staff School, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas and the Naval War College, Newport, Rhode Island. He served as Commander of the Heavy Weapons Company, 2ndInfrantry Division; Assistant G-2, Headquarters Third U.S. Army; G-2, First Allied Airborne Task Force, North Africa, Italy and France; G-2' 13th, Airborne Infantry Division, France, Belgium and German. At the close of World War II, he served as G-2, 82nd Airborne Infantry Division, Fort Bragg, North Carolina; Assistant G-3, Antilles Department, Puerto Rico. He then served as Battalion Commander and Executive Officer, 30th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division. In the Korean Conflict he served both in Intelligence and Military Government, General Staff, IX, U.S. Army Corps. Citations received during World War II and the Korean Conflict included the Legion of Merit twice, Bronze Star with cluster, the Air Medal with clusters, Presidential Citations with 2nd Award, Army Commendation Ribbon, Combat Infantry Badge, Joint Chiefs of Staff Badge, Lorraine Cross (France) and the Keys to the City of Seoul (Korea), and others. Later as Chief of the Special Warfare Division, Department of the Army, he was responsible for policy, training, and conduct of world-wide Army Special Forces (Green Berets). Then as the Army Member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff he produced theatre plans and studies in unconventional warfare for Vietnam and Malaya. Next as Plans Staff Officer of the U.S. European Command, he coordinated UW plans, serving in England, France and Germany. His service was culminated in 1962 when as G-2 of the Fourth U.S. Army he was again awarded the Bronze Star. Col. Blythe received the George Washington Medal, Freedom Foundation of Valley Forge, in 1967 for outstanding achievement in bringing about a better understanding of the American Way of Live. Upon retiring from the military in 1962 he settled in Austin and founded, with his son, the William Blythe Advertising and Public Relations Company. In 1973 he and his wife moved to Elkins Lake to be near the ancestral properties of Bess' family who were early pioneers to the Republic of Texas. At Elkins he enjoyed a full and productive life becoming greatly involved in community and civic affairs that include the organization of the Elkins Lake Community Association, serving as its first president and serving also on the Board of Trustees. He was an avid golfer. A joy was teaching the game to his two granddaughters. His strength of character, high standards and commitment to higher education have a lasting influence on his family. Genealogy was a fascinating hobby and he traveled extensively here and abroad in his research. He was member of the Sons of the American Revolution, the Huguenot Society and Valley Forge Freedom Foundation. He was a life long Presbyterian and active member of the First Presbyterian Church of Huntsville. He served in the Session as Chairman of the Finance and Stewardship Committee and a member of other committee. He is survived by his wife, Bess, of sixty-nine years, a son William Jackson Blythe, Jr. and wife Dell of Houston, two granddaughters, Alison and Ashley Blythe of Dallas, sister-in-law Helen Tyson of Point Blank, nephew Dr. Todd Tyson and wife Wendi and their sons Garand and Wyatt of Waco, niece Melissa Tyson of the Woodlands, cousin Libby Hansen of Point Blank and a host of friends. Funeral services will be held at the First Presbyterian Church in Huntsville at 2 p.m., Friday, April 16, 2004. Internment will follow the service at the Robinson Family Cemetery, Point Blank, Texas. Officiating will be Reverend Kenneth Jack. The family will receive friends and loved ones at the Huntsville Funeral Home from 6 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, April 15. If desired memorials may be made to the William Blythe Memorial Fund, First Presbyterian Church of Huntsville or to the charity of your choice. We invite you to share your thoughts and fond memories with our family at www.mem.com. Under the direction of Huntsville Funeral Home.
Published in the Houston Chronicle on 4/15/2004.
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