James Edward Hye

James (Jim) Hye, 88, beloved husband, father, grandfather, and brother passed away peacefully in Colorado Springs on June 30, 2013 after a long illness. He was born August 15, 1924 in Aberdeen, South Dakota to Virgil Hye and Florence Cully Hye. He was raised in Aberdeen where he graduated from high school in 1942. He participated in many activities while in school and was chosen to be in the first class of Boys State in South Dakota. Jim enlisted in the Army during World War II in August of 1942. He completed his basic training in Miami Beach, Florida, and attended several colleges before joining the 1261st Engineer Combat Battalion in 1943. He served in England, Belgium, France, and Germany primarily building bridges across the Rhine River. Of his war service he often said, "We were just a bunch of kids and did what we were told." He was honorably discharged from the Army at Fort Snelling, Minnesota in April 1946. On June 30, 1951 Jim married Betty Lou Wolken in Rapid City, South Dakota. Jim and Betty Lou were happily married for sixty-two years. In the fall of 1946, he enrolled at the South Dakota School of Mines in Rapid City, South Dakota. He graduated with a B.S. degree in civil engineering in 1951 and went to work the next day for the Army Corps of Engineers. In 1963, he moved his family to Colorado Springs, Colorado where he was involved in construction work building the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) facility in Cheyenne Mountain. He also worked on many Corps projects at the Air Force Academy and Fort Carson. He was awarded the Department of Army Decoration for Meritorious Performance of Duty. He retired in 1979 and began a second career teaching construction management seminars all over the world. His wife, Betty Lou, often traveled with him which began their life-long love of travel. Jim had many interests and many friends. He especially enjoyed daily coffee with friends where they would engage in lively discussions about the events of the day. He could initiate a conversation with anyone he met and always had a story or joke to relate to them. His friends, relatives and particularly his grandchildren were often the subject of his gentle teasing. Jim's enthusiasm, humor and optimism were an inspiration to all. He loved sports of all kinds, especially watching the Broncos and the Rockies on TV. He played golf until just a few years ago. While his sons were young, he was active in the Boy Scouts and coached softball. He never missed one of his son's sports events. He was a longtime member of the First United Methodist Church and the Berean Sunday School Class. Jim was a former member of the Garden of the Gods Rotary Club and a Paul Harris Fellow. Survivors include his wife, Betty Lou, three sons, Robert Hye MD of La Jolla, California, Richard Stringer-Hye of Nashville, Tennessee, and Steven Hye of San Diego, California; three wonderful daughters-in-law: Sandy, Suellen and Kathy and seven grandchildren: Samuel, Abbey, Taylor, Taryn, Peter, Jordan, and Emma. Jim's grandchildren were the joys of his life. Also surviving is a brother, William Hye, of Stoughton, Wisconsin, and many nephews, nieces, cousins and a host of friends. Services for family and friends will take place Friday July 19, 2013 at 2:00 pm. at First United Methodist Church of Colorado Springs. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the First United Methodist Church, Wounded Warriors, or the .


Funeral Home

Swan-Law Funeral Directors
501 North Cascade Ave Colorado Springs, CO 80903
(719) 471-9900

Published in The Gazette on July 14, 2013