Heath and Vaughn Funeral Home - Champaign Il

Today is

Olive Tyler Garrigus

Born of Helen Styring and Henry Tyler on August 29, 1919, Olive Tyler Garrigus garriguswas the youngest of five, raised on a dairy farm in New England during the Depression.  She graduated with honors from UCONN at Storrs and was named a William H. Danforth Scholar, a philosophy that informed her life-long dedication to building and maintaining relationships with students and colleagues world wide.

She married Upson Garrigus in 1942 at the onset of WW II and taught students in the Hartford Public Schools how to manage their households while their mothers worked long hours in factories and their fathers were overseas.

After the war, she and Upson made their home in Champaign, where they were active members of the Community United Church of Christ; opened their hearts and home to successive generations of graduate students in the Department of Agriculture, co-conducted field studies in international agriculture for students in area land-grand universities, and edited a publication that bridged former students and the university. 

Olive was representative of a generation of women who put the support of family and community above personal career.  She was an active participant in local educational and service organizations and in 1997 was named to the Women’s Wall of Fame in Seneca Falls, NY, on behalf of that generation.

She is survived by children Beth and Mark, daughter-in-law Nancy, grandchildren Dave and Annie and great grandchildren Jillian and Matthew Garrigus.

Services will be held at 3:30 p.m. on Sunday, January 11 at Clark Lindsey Village in Urbana.  A simple reception will follow.  Memorial contributions may be made to the University of Illinois Foundation, 1305 W. Green St., Urbana, 61801, for the benefit of the Upson S. Garrigus Global Ambassadors Grant Fund or the Community United Church of Christ, 805 S. 6th St., Champaign, 61820.

Condolences may be offered online at www.HeathandVaughn.com.


Dear Beth and Mark and family,

I will always remember the welcoming warmth of both Olive and Upson, when they invited my wife (after she was struck by a brain tumor) and I into their home for a meal and conversation. Also the many times Olive would bring gifts of food she had cooked or baked or a cheery bouquet from her garden for our enjoyment. Truly a good neighbor. Wishing you well as you begin to adjust to this shrinking of your family circle.



I am sorry to hear of Olive’s passing. My husband, John, and I always looked forward to the family reunions and spending time with Olive and Upson. Olive was such a gracious lady.

On behalf of Olive's extended family of cousins, please accept our condolences.

With kindly thoughts,

Vivien and John Garrigues (Editors for ‘Branches and Roots’)



Thank you to all of you who have kept me updated through the years of first Dr. Garrigus’ death, and now of Mrs. Garrigus’ death.

I am touched by the obituary you also included, particularly about how she “was representative of a generation of women who put the support of family and community above personal career”. I always saw your mother/grandmother/great grandmother as a half of a whole unit, as deeply committed to international agriculture as Dr. Garrigus—just not actually in the classroom, teaching.

I believe that Dr. Garrigus was the only professor who ever invited me into their home (with the exception of another, for whom I occasionally babysat). I felt like an honored guest while I was there, and your mother’s care and delight in meeting with me took away any homesickness I felt. (Even if I only came from northern Illinois, there were times I missed home, too!) It was like being wrapped in that sort of familial love; they just seemed to really believe in me as a person, and wish the best for me, always.

I wish all of you well as you carry your parents’ fine legacy on, and know that many were touched and blessed by both of your parents’ gift of hospitality and true caring.

Jill Stahl Tyler, President
Global Cow & Vermont Fascination
Brattleboro, VT