William Taylor Tyson

August 16, 1933April 11, 2021

William Taylor Tyson August 1933 - April 2021 William T. Tyson (Bill) of San Diego, California, died peacefully, aged 87. Born in Detroit, Michigan, the only child of William and Dorothy Tyson. He attended Dearborn H.S. and Henry Ford Community College. Upon graduating from U of M with a BA in 1955, he enlisted in the Army, serving in Frankfurt, W. Germany and then returned to earn his JD in 1960.

An adventurous soul, he hired a drive-away-car to be delivered to ‘Sep-U-La-Veeda’ in LA. He had trouble finding that street! He became an attorney for Standard Oil Of California, San Francisco. Moving to San Diego, he began his law career with McGinnis Focht & Fitzgerald and soon hung out his own shingle, devoting his practice to personal injury.

At one time he had the largest solo legal practice in the County of San Diego. He became the attorney for Navy personnel. During this time, he married Martha and raised two sons, Matt and Zack who have followed their father’s passion for law.

He and Gordon Churchill took on corporation giants like Farmers Insurance and others. The San Diego Trial Law Association (now CASD) awarded him trial lawyer of the year.

As Chairman, Bill successfully tracked down and engaged Ralph Nader to speak at the Joint Legal and Medical Professions Annual Dinner. It took 5 days to catch Nader by calling at 6 a.m. NYC time when he would pass by ‘His Phone Booth’, hear the phone ring, and answer.

Bill built and designed Pacific Gateway Building with Architect Larry Sillman at 1495 Pacific Highway across from the Star of India and the San Diego County Administration Building, filling it with lawyers. It won the prestigious Central City Assoc. Orchid Award for Architectural Design 1982.

He and Martha had played tennis at Wimbledon on the People-To-People Tennis Tour, contributing to International Good Will and Understanding through Sports under President Gerald Ford in 1976.

Retiring under doctor’s orders, he devoted himself to his family, consulting and taught TRIAL TECHNIQUES at USD for one year. Bill took Martha all over the world, living his passion for exotic travel.

Keeping healthy, he coached his boys’ soccer team, the King Cobras and joined San Diego Tennis and Racquet Club. At age 65, he began playing golf. Bill always loved West Coast jazz - ‘honkin’ and screaming’ on the sax.

His favorite listening place: Proud Mary’s Southern Bar and Grill (Jazz 88.3) on Kearny Mesa RD. In quiet times he played Solitaire and read mystery books, all 4,000 of which he donated to the Veterans and to Oasis where he volunteered at the Murder Mystery Book Club.

After living nearly 50 years in Pt. Loma, they moved to The VI Senior Living. He became the Mystery Man of VI when he started a small book club, giving advice, loaning out his favorite books. THE DEVOTION OF SUSPECT X by Keigo Higashino, his first recommendation. Second, THE PIANO TUNER by Daniel Mason. That book had led him to visit Burma - now Myanmar.

His final advice to friends: “Have a good day and if you don’t, call your lawyer!” Memorial services pending: Miramar National Cemetery.


No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.


William Taylor Tyson

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