Farm Background

Lyle P. Fettig PhD

October 31, 1934 ~ January 1, 2023 (age 88) 88 Years Old

Lyle Fettig PhD Obituary

Lyle Patrick Fettig, 88, died on January 1, 2023, at his home in Savoy, Illinois. Lyle was born on October 31, 1934 to William and Emma (née Steffel) Fettig in Petoskey, Michigan and grew up with his seven siblings on the family farm. In Chicago, Lyle met Patricia Gerrity who he married on Valentine's Day in 1971. Throughout his life, he consistently put his family first, whether it was traveling to Northern Michigan during summers to work on the farm, serving as a loving spouse to Patricia, or tending to the needs of their three children. Unconditional love was a concept he taught through both his actions and words. Although his academic achievements are notable, he was most proud of what he called his “FhD” (Fatherhood Doctorate), which his children unanimously agree he earned. Lyle graduated from St. Francis Xavier High School in Petoskey in 1952. He began his post-secondary education at Michigan State University where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Education (1956) followed by a Master of Science in Agricultural Economics (1958). He continued his studies at the University of Chicago, earning a Master of Arts (1960) and Ph.D. in Economics (1963). He served in the United States Army Reserve in the 1950’s. After completing his PhD, Lyle started his career at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. He was promoted to Professor in the Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics in 1974. Throughout his career, he had a passion for teaching and advising. Students and colleagues celebrated him through his inclusion in the College Academy of Teaching Excellence and by selecting him for the Karl E. Gardner Outstanding Undergraduate Advising award. He served as associate editor of the American Journal of Agricultural Economics and was an establishing editor of the North Central Journal of Agricultural Economics. Shortly after retiring, he was called back to teaching part-time for a brief stint and continued advising an ACES Department student group for several years. After retirement, Lyle enjoyed many years of spending time with his wife, children, and grandchildren, as well as continuing community service. In memory of his mother, he volunteered as a Eucharistic minister at OSF Heart of Mary Medical Center in Urbana. A member of St. Patrick Catholic Church in Urbana, he volunteered at the St. Vincent de Paul parish food pantry. Along with Patricia, he continued his spiritual formation, becoming an Oblate at Our Lady of Grace Monastery in Beech Grove, Indiana. He served as chair for the homeowner association’s architectural committee, continuing a role that informally started in 1979 when he led the building of his family’s home. He maintained a yearly vegetable garden and became an Iyengar yoga practitioner, continuing both until the final few months of his long and dignified life. Lyle is survived by his beloved wife Patricia and three children Lyle, Jr. (Rachel), John (Angel), and Katharine (Benjamin); grandchildren Ezra, Emlyn, Oliver, Jack, and Lyle Benjamin; siblings Arlene Foltz, Kenneth (Margaret) Fettig, Emily (Norman) Daniel, brother-in-law James Acker, and many nephews and nieces. Lyle was preceded in death by his parents as well as siblings and in-laws including Marilyn (Richard) Fox, Shirley (Charles) Itsell, Wayne (Elaine) Fettig, Margaret Acker, and Fred Foltz.

A memorial mass to celebrate Lyle’s life will take place at St. Patrick Parish in Urbana, Illinois on January 7, 2023 at 11 a.m. followed by a luncheon in the parish hall. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to the St. Vincent de Paul Food Pantry at St. Patrick Parish in Urbana, Illinois, to Our Lady of Grace Monastery in Beech Grove, Indiana, or to an organization of the donor’s choosing. Lyle’s family would like to thank his healthcare team for their compassionate care, especially the nurses and other team members on the Oncology Unit at Carle Foundation Hospital, Carle Palliative Care, and Carle Home Health and Hospice.




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