William “Bill” Robert Tye, age 74, passed away unexpectedly of a heart attack January 6, 2019 on his beloved cattle ranch in Alfalfa, just east of Bend. This salt of the earth, hard-working, fearless, and warm-hearted soul lived his life to the fullest. He connected with so many people and left his mark in making this world a better place.
Bill was born August 25, 1944 in Auburn, Washington but lived in Bend nearly all his life. As a kid, he excelled in athletics and graduated from Bend Senior High in 1963. After graduating, he enlisted in the Army and served in the 81st Airborne Artillery Division.
With the help of the G.I. Bill and the encouragement of his older brother Tom, Bill pursued a college education. In 1973 he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering from Oregon State University, which he proudly said was his greatest accomplishment. After graduation, Bill worked for his brother Tom’s Compass Engineering & Surveying firm in Portland. In 1976 he returned to Bend to partner with his brother Mick in Sun Country Engineering & Surveying, and to establish his lifestyle as a Cattleman.
In 1990, Bill founded Tye Engineering & Surveying. As an Engineer, Surveyor, and Water Rights Examiner, he was involved in a wide range of commercial, industrial, residential, and community civil engineering projects throughout central Oregon and beyond. He was a great thinker and problem solver, and could build or fix anything.
Bill was actively involved in promoting Engineering through the Professional Engineers of Oregon, and was named Fellow Member in 2016 in honor of his exemplary service to his profession, professional society, and community. Bill passionately supported a college scholarship program for graduating central Oregon high school students studying engineering.
In the 1970’s Bill purchased acreage in Alfalfa and, concurrently with his engineering career, pursued his dream of having a cattle ranch. Bill’s love of cattle and ranching continued and accelerated into his years of “semi-retirement”, when he purchased and operated a much larger ranch in Unity, Oregon. Bill put his heart and soul into the cattle, resulting in top quality happy animals. Bill loved being a Cattleman.
Bill’s spirit of volunteerism, enthusiasm for community service – and just helping people – was ever-present. Many local organizations benefitted from Bill’s service and
leadership skills. He reached out and lent a helping hand to those in his neighborhood and community in countless ways.
Bill is dearly missed. Survivors include his loving wife, Alice; stepsons Harleigh and Evan Doremus; brother, Mick (wife Sandy); sister, Terry Lonergan; and nine nieces and
nephews. He was preceded in death by his father, mother, and brothers Tom and Jim.
Burial and memorial services were held in Bend on January 18, 2019. A Celebration of Life is planned for May 11, 2019 from 2 to 5 pm at the Rim Rock Riders Event Center, 17037 SW Alfalfa Rd., Powell Butte, OR 97753. In lieu of flowers, donations are suggested to a charity of your choice in Bill’s honor.