February 18, 1949 — July 16, 2019
She passed away peacefully at her home in Menomonie, Wis., surrounded by dear friends on Tuesday evening.
Tyra was born in Duluth and attended college at St. Scholastica, where she received her Master’s in English and minored in photo journalism. She loved exploring the world, traveling through South America for months at a stretch.
She commandeered her first boat, the “Moonflower,” down the Mississippi all the way from Minneapolis to New Orleans, a trip that sparked her lifelong passion of boatbuilding and living on the river. She lived on Nicolette Island with her boat the “Windrose” for 15 years, eventually settling on lower Latsch Island in Winona, her home for 21 years. Tyra worked as a professional carpenter and built the boathouse where she lived; it remains a testament to her craftmanship. She adored living so close to nature, and derived many hours of joy watching the swallows who lived outside her door, and other “critters.”
She will be remembered for her exceptional skills and attention to detail as a craftswoman, her dry wit, independent spirit, and compassionate heart.
She was a true individual.
She joins her loving mother, Joyce Tyra Seley, and her dear sister, Diane Laiti, both of Duluth.
Her ashes will be scattered in the Mississippi at a later date. Tyra invites you to think of her when you see a beautiful sunset.
“Think of me as stardust now
Casting soft light over flowing waters
You are my people, good river folk.
Think of me now as I thank you for
just who you are and for how much you all meant to me.
And now I’m off to New Orleans.”