After living a gentle life, Dr. Joseph Anton Tihen died a gentle death on November 12, 2002. He has joined his parents William A. Tihen and Myrtle G. Sisson and his brothers Samuel and Stephen Tihen. Surviving are his beloved wife of 62 years, Frances M. Drouhard; their children JoAnn Trupo, Lawrence (Deborah) Tihen, Duane Tihen, Claudia Madigan, Martha (John) Cook, John Henry (Barbara) Tihen, Marilee (David) Tihen-Sarchet; grandchildren Lucy, Salvatore, Joseph, John Allen Trupo; Amber, Jennifer, Keith Madigan; Amanda, Marilee Cook; four great grandchildren and a multitude of nieces and nephews.
Joseph enjoyed a long and distinguished career, publishing the first of his scientific papers in the Kansas Academy of Science at age 16. He graduated from the University of Kansas where he was a 4-year Summerfield scholar. Joseph received his PhD at the University of Rochester where he also was a participating scientist in the Manhattan Project and senior author of his team's study of the genetic effects of irradiation. This research was completed at the University of Florida Medical Center.
Joseph touched many lives with his brilliant mind, sharp wit and kind heart. He was a well-respected teacher and considered one of the foremost experts in the field of herpetology. He served as a Biology Department faculty member at Tulane University, the University of Illinois, and the University of Notre Dame. During his 30-year tenure at Notre Dame he was Director of Graduate Studies, Assistant Chairman in the Department of Biology, served as a Chairman of the Faculty Senate and orchestrated numerous University field trips. He retired in 1989 as Professor Emeritus. Joseph was fluent in several languages and found great pleasure traveling throughout the world with his dear companion and wife, Frances.
He was a member of the following organizations: American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists, Society for Study of Reptiles and Amphibians, Herpetology League, Society of Paleontologists, Society for the Study of Evolution, Society for Study of Systematic Zoology, Societies of Phi Sigma, Phi Beta Kappa, and Sigma XI and Knights of Columbus. He was an avid researcher and was published in many professional journals. He wrote for the Encyclopedia Britannica and was long-time editor of American Midland Naturalist.
Arrangements are being made by Lee Memorial Park with interment planned at a later date in the family plot in Harper, Kansas.The family is very grateful for the compassionate caring and prayers offered throughout this difficult time. For all who wish to attend, a memorial service will be held at Church of the Resurrection on Friday, November 15 at 9:30 a.m., with a reception immediately following at Seven Lakes. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to Hope Hospice, 9470 Health Park Cr., Ft Myers, FL 33908 or the American Cancer Society.
Published in The News-Press on Nov. 14, 2002.