Richard D. Tryon, 96, oldest resident and native of Monterey, dairy farmer

He sold the dairy herd in 1986, and after that time, he and his son Roger Tryon concentrated on harvesting hay for horses and making maple syrup. Dick loved stewarding his fields and was still driving tractors in the hay field two months before he died.

Richard Delmor Tryon, aged 96, passed away peacefully surrounded by his family at his home on “Lowland Farm” on August 21, 2020.

Dick Tryon

He was born in Great Barrington, MA, February 22, 1924, the son of Delmor Jones Tryon and Frances Theodora (Collins) Tryon, and lived his entire life in Monterey. Dick graduated from Searles High School in 1942. He then enlisted in the US Navy in World War II from 1942-1946, serving on LSTs and LCTs in the Mediterranean and Pacific theaters. After his honorable discharge from the Navy, he attended the Stockbridge School of Agriculture in Amherst, MA, graduating in 1948. He and his wife, Barbara Jane Jost, were married October 9, 1948 and together they ran their family’s dairy farm for the next forty years, restored a 1786 colonial farm house, and raised five children. From 1948 to 1961, he pasteurized his own milk, selling the milk from a cooler at the village milk house and on a rural delivery milk route around Monterey. He delivered milk to numerous summer camps until the early 1970s. He sold the dairy herd in 1986, and after that time, he and his son Roger Tryon concentrated on harvesting hay for horses and making maple syrup. Dick loved stewarding his fields and was still driving tractors in the hay field two months before he died.

Dick was very involved in town politics and regional farm agencies. He was a founding member of the Southern Berkshire Regional School District in 1955, and served on the first School Committee from 1955 to 1961. He served for three terms on the Monterey Board of Selectmen and Board of Health, on the Conservation Commission, and Monterey Volunteer Fire Department. He was a very active member of the Berkshire County Farm Bureau, and served the Massachusetts Farm Bureau as its vice-president and one term as its president. For many years, Dick and Barbara attended the National Farm Bureau conventions held around the country. Richard also served on the Executive Board of Farm Family Insurance and attended several of their national conventions. He served for many years on the Board of Directors of Gould Farm. He was also a founder and daily member of the Monterey Coffee Club for 40 years. Dick was a life-long member of the Monterey Congregational Church. Dick was a great story-teller, who always had a twinkle in his eye, and his knowledge of local history will be sorely missed.

In his “retirement”, when he was not on a tractor in the fields, he was riding his four-wheeler around the farm. He was an avid reader of the Wall Street Journal and books about the Civil War, and was a loyal patron of the Monterey Library. In his forties, he took up downhill skiing, going to Butternut Basin for a couple of hours each winter day between the daily farm chores. He and Barbara traveled extensively throughout the world, including well-remembered trips to Kenya, New Zealand, Switzerland, Hawaii, and the Panama Canal, as well throughout the United States.

Richard is survived by his five children, Cynthia T. (Robert) Hoogs of Monterey, Linda Pilloud of Switzerland, Richard D. (Susan) Tryon, Jr. of North Andover, MA, Roger C. (Katherine) Tryon of Monterey, and Elizabeth T. (Grant) Sorlie of Kalispell, MT. Also surviving are nine grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. He is predeceased by his wife, Barbara, who passed away July 25, 2019, and his sister, Martha L. Race, who passed away August 21, 2018.

A small memorial service with local friends and family to celebrate Richard’s life will be held on the lawns at Lowland Farm on New Marlborough Road on Wednesday, August 26, 2020, at 1:00 pm led by Rev. Elizabeth Goodman, pastor of the Monterey Congregational Church. Because of Covid, the family requests that attendees bring mask and their own chairs. A private burial service for the family will follow at Corashire Cemetery in Monterey. Contributions in Richard’s memory may be made directly to the Monterey United Church of Christ or to the Monterey Library.