Jim Tyson, who was a Democratic Dallas County Commissioner from the southeast quadrant for twenty years, passed away last Thursday at 86. He won his first race (in the Democratic primary in 1964) against an incumbent by a mere four votes. That lead held up only because his attorney, future State Senator and Texas Supreme Court Justice Oscar Mauzy, got a court order sealing the voting machines. Back then, the county government was basically controlled by rabidly racist reactionaries who were widely believed to deliver machines with votes already cast on them. Tyson, an electrician and Bronze Star winner in World War II, made the first crack in the good-old-boy fortress, and began restoring government to ordinary people, symbolized by keeping his phone number listed in the book. He is survived by his wife, Thelma, of DeSoto, two children, five grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren, and is mourned by all who knew him.
Visitation is tonight, Monday, January 7, from 6 to 8 PM at Laurel Land Funeral Home, 6000 S. R.L. Thornton Freeway in Dallas. Funeral services will be Noon Tuesday, also at Laurel Land. Interment will be at 1:30 PM Tuesday at Dallas-Fort Worth National Cemetery in Dallas.