Margaret Ann Tyson was born on January 31, 1935 in Pampa, Texas to John Everett Tyson and Audrey (Walker) Tyson. Her only sibling, older half-brother, Irvin Boyd, Jr., was born of Audrey’s prior marriage to Irvin Boyd. As a child, Irvin Boyd, Jr. was called “Boy.” Maggie called him “Bubba.”
Maggie’s father John Tyson would later adopt his stepson, Irvin Boyd, Jr., after raising him all his life. When adopted, his name changed to Irvin Boyd TYSON. As an adult, he called himself “Boyd.” In 1942, Boyd graduated from Rock Island High School. On December 8, 1943, after raising him all his life, John Tyson adopted him so he could join the Navy. He did, and became a naval aviator.
By 1954, Maggie and her parents were living in Compton. Her brother, Boyd, and his family came to California that year from Gary, Indiana. (Boyd had married his high school sweetheart Beverly Husted and they had five boys—Roger, Timothy, Richard, John, and Mathew). They stayed with Maggie’s family for a short time, and then moved into a little house on Elm Street in Brea, California.
Sometime after 1954, while working at Collier Chemical in Brea, California, Boyd fell and had a seizure–or had a seizure and fell—we are not sure which happened first. The company told him they were going to let him go and cut off his insurance. They more or less forced him into having brain surgery. He had the surgery, and did not have the same temperament since then. Basically, he would have serious mood swings. Maggie said Boyd had epilepsy.
Maggie said this about her brother: “He was my god. He was my idol. He was always in trouble because he was always into some cause or another. Smart as a whip and so good with those boys. It was unbelievable to watch. And loved Beverly–worshipped the ground she walked on.”
Maggie said Boyd’s personality took a turn for the worse after his brain surgery. It totally changed him. She said, “I mean, I literally adored him. And I can remember him taking me with him one day, and we’d go to get ice cream. And I can remember holding his hand and in heaven. I had whooping cough and he’d get up in the middle of the night and come in and grab my feet and hold me upside down and beat me on the back till all the phlegm came out. Yes, he was unbelievable. He was compassionate and loving and caring and always had time for a child.” Maggie also recalls:
Boyd was coming back from overseas and we knew what ship he was coming in on. And we knew it was coming into San Diego. I think Japan had surrendered, but not Germany. We hadn’t dropped the bomb yet.
So my mother and I were just going to San Diego and wait for that ship. So we waited down there for three days for the ship to show up. My mother found a drainage pipe that was as big around as—and we crawled through that drainage pipe–down along the big building where the trains came in–and we were looking right up at the stern of that big ship and my mother said:
‘Do you know my son?’
And one of the guys said, ‘Ma’am, what’s his name?’
She said, ‘Boyd Tyson. Do I need to spell that?’
And within 20 minutes there he was standing at the stern of the boat. It was hysterical. And he’s going, ‘How did you get in here!?’”
Irvin Boyd Tyson, died at age 65 on March 8, 1990, in Long Beach, California. He is buried at Riverside National Cemetery, Riverside, California.
Contributor: Lauren Tyson