Ben Tyran

Ben Tyran, a retired petroleum company executive and international oil consultant, passed away April 30, 2011, at the age of 90.

Mr. Tyran was born in Little Falls, N.Y. For many years he was a resident of Hillsborough, Calif., before moving to Southern Oregon. He was a resident of Ashland and Medford since 1975. He attended Rider University, Lawrenceville, N.J., receiving a bachelors of science in education degree in 1944. Following a brief teaching assignment, he was recruited in 1944, by the Arabia American Oil Company (Aramco), to work as an accountant and paymaster in the oil fields of Eastern Saudi Arabia, where he was stationed for two and a half years. In 1947, he was transferred to work in Aramco's offices in New York City. In 1950, he received his master of business administration in economics from New York University. Subsequently, he worked for the U.S. Department of State as a petroleum and energy economist, and with the Labor-management Maritime committee in Washington, D.C. as an industry analyst.

In 1960, Mr. Tyran was founder and president of the Independent Petroleum Supply Company (IPS), with principal offices in New York City, and branch offices in San Francisco, Tokyo, London, Toronto, Paris and Rome. In 1963, IPS merged with the Natomas Company of San Francisco, with Mr. Tyran becoming a Director and Vice President in charge of Natomas' newly-started international oil activities. During the late 1960s and early 1970s, Natomas became one of the largest independent oil companies operating in Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Canada and other world oil centers. Mr. Tyran retired from Natomas in 1973, and in 1974, started Tyran Associates, specializing in petroleum consulting services, particularly in the Middle East. Mr. Tyran also was active since the mid-1970s, as Chairman and President of Doorcraft, Inc., a wood products manufacturer located in Harrisburg, Ore.

Following his move to Ashland, Mr. Tyran became involved in numerous civic, university, and charitable activities including, President of the Southern Oregon State College Foundation 1979-1983; Chairman Ashland Economic Development commission 1981-1989; President of the Council for Economic Development of Oregon, 1983-1984; Chairman and Trustee of Rogue Valley Manor, 1988-1993; Director of the Oregon Economic Development Corporation, and Founding Member of the Southern Oregon Regional Economic Development, Inc. He was a founding member and Director of Sunshine TV, Inc., Medford (Channel 12).

Mr. Tyran was a member of the San Francisco branch Council on Foreign Relations, World Affairs Council, Asia Foundation, Tau Kappa Epsilon, and the Family Club (San Francisco). Mr. Tyran was a participant in Oregon Governor Vic Atiyeh's Trade Missions to the Middle East, 1984; and to the Far East, 1985.

Mr. Tyran was the recipient for the Distinguished Accomplishment in World Business from Tau Kappa Epsilon, 1972; President's Medal from Southern Oregon State College, 1984; Outstanding Service Award from Oregon Council for Economic Development, 1984; the Glenn Jackson Memorial Award for Economic Development, Medford Chamber of Commerce, 1986; Certificate of Appreciation, City of Ashland, 1989; and Distinguished Alumnus Award Rider University, 1972. He was listed in Who's Who in the World, and Who's Who in the U.S. and other Who's Who publications. In 2003, Mr. Tyran received Southern Oregon University's first honorary doctorate for his leadership, visionary advocacy and generosity.

Ben is survived by his children, Garry (and wife Barbara), of Chevy Chase, Md., Cindy (and husband Randy), of Phoenix, Ore., and Craig (and wife Kristi), of Bellingham, Wash.; his grandchildren, Keith, Charlotte, Serena, Andrew and Chesney; and his spouse, Lynn.

He was preceded in death by his beloved wife of 47 years, Jeanne Deckman Tyran, who passed away in July 1994. Mr. Tyran was also preceded in death by his siblings, Helen, Stella, Bernice. Mike and Tony.

In lieu of flowers, the family prefers memorial gifts to be made to the Ben Tyran Chair for Entrepreneurial Business at Southern Oregon University, Ashland, a lecture series that Mr. Tyran founded years ago. At the request of Mr. Tyran, no public memorial service will be held. The Tyran family can be reached at 340 A Street #101, Ashland, OR 97520.

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