William John Blythe

Dec. 18, 2015

William John Blythe (BS ’38, MS ’40 CHEM EGR), East Lansing, Mich., died Dec. 11, 2015. He was 98. 

He was the son of an Episcopal minister and his wife, Macie and the Rev. William Shaw Blyth, and was devoted to many things, including the Red Cross; Burcham Hills Foundation; First Presbyterian Church of Dearborn; the Directors' Scholarship Fund of the Friends of Camp Chickagami, Presque Isle; Michigan State University, and others. 

He attended MSU, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in 1938 and a master’s degree in 1940 in chemical engineering. 

He held management positions at AT&T and MCI.

In 2007, he was awarded the Philanthropist of the Year of Michigan Bell Telephone Company. 

He and his wife, Mary M. Blyth, co-wrote two editions of a textbook, Telecommunications, that was standard curriculum at more than 60 colleges and universities, including Michigan State.

He was preceded in death by his wife. 

Surviving are his sister Dorothy Blythe Skinner, sons David and Dennis, four grandchildren, four great grandchildren and families of Jean Meade and Dorothy Skinner. The Meade family also includes John B. Meade, a devoted brother-in-law who tirelessly cared for his comfort and many of the daily needs in recent years.

Services are pending. The family is being served by the Gorsline Runciman Funeral Homes in East Lansing. 

Contributions may be made in his memory to the W. John and Mary Blyth Fund in honor of Hans & Mary Sennholz Program at MSU’s James Madison College. 

Condolences and memories may be shared at www.greastlansing.com.