Cover photo for Pernell Tyus's Obituary
Pernell Tyus Profile Photo
1942 Pernell 2019

Pernell Tyus

April 7, 1942 — October 30, 2019

As of October 30, 2019, accomplished cinematographer Pernell Tyus, is no longer baking wonderful cakes, smoking cigars, cruising, gardening, cheering for the Seahawks, rescuing dogs, or greeting old and new friends with a big hug.

The second of seven children born to Birl and Beatrice Tyus, Pernell arrived in 1942 in Verbena, AL prior to the family moving to Inkster, MI, where he was raised. Stationed in North Carolina, Sergeant P. Tyus was a paratrooper in the 82nd U.S. Army Airborne.

Working in the L.A. film industry (TV programs, advertising, documentaries, and movie features) for 35 years, Pernell rose from camera assistant to director of cinematography, filming in many locations in the U.S. and internationally. John Alonzo A.S.C. was his mentor. Pernell
was a well-respected activist, advocate, and member of the International Cinematographers Guild (IATSE Local 600).

Pernell was a humble guy. Few people knew he once filmed from the open door of a high-in-the- sky helicopter with a buddy behind him keeping a firm grip on Pernell's leather belt; or that he donned a Storm Trooper uniform for a Star Wars film. Pernell even volunteered to be stuntman/cameraman, slung under a speeding 18-wheeler to capture the shot a director desired.

In 2005, Pernell and then wife Beatrice Stockham Tyus left L.A. with four rescue dogs and drove to their retirement home on Bainbridge Island, WA. Pernell gave back to community, serving on the Board of Arts and Humanities Bainbridge, promoting Public Art and the Bainbridge Island
Film Festival, and was an instrumental force behind Bainbridge in Bloom. Pernell played Tooth Fairy by giving money to children who had lost their baby teeth. And each year, he worked in the camera department of the Rotary Auction on Bainbridge Island.

His parents, wife Beatrice Stockham Tyus, and siblings Mildred, Eliza, Renae, and Harry predeceased Pernell. He leaves behind to mourn many more who loved him, including his wife of two years, Glynis Burns, daughter Linda, sister Zettie Johnson and brother Jack Tyus of Michigan, numerous nieces and nephews and dear friend Michael Little of Los Angeles.

Pernell's kindness, humor, empathy and great love of life, family, and friends will forever be remembered by those fortunate enough to have shared a part of his life's journey. Pernell was known for his lens on life, at all times capturing images of family, friends, and locations
throughout the world. Even still, he is most likely taking photos and giving huge hugs. Send pictures Pernell, we will be watching for them.

A Celebration of Pernell's Life, will be held on November 16th at Grace Episcopal Church, 8595 NE Day Road, Bainbridge Island WA at 1:30 p.m. The family requests that you please RSVP to Donations in Pernell's name may be made to the Kitsap Humane Society online or addressed to 9167 Dickey Road NW, Silverdale WA 98383.

Arrangements are entrusted to Cook Family Funeral Home of Bainbridge Island.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Pernell Tyus, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Celebration of Life

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Starts at 1:30 pm (Pacific time)

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