Francis Nye
1918 - 2019
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Francis W. Nye

"What a life I had!" declared Francis (Frank) W. Nye, Major General, USAF, Retired who died at the age of 100 on January 13, 2019. Francis was born on a farm in Barton, Vermont to Percy Hildreth Nye and Clara Elizabeth "Bessie" Murphy Nye on June 29, l918. He attended Barton Academy from first grade through high school. Francis was very active with several farming projects with the Future Farmers of America. In the fall of 1935, during his senior year in high school, he received the American Farmer Degree in Kansas City, MO. He was forever indebted to Cedric Pierce, the Barton Academy Principal, who urged him to go the University of Vermont. Francis majored in Vocational Agriculture with plans for a teaching career. He graduated in June 1941, then enlisted in the Army Air Corps as an Aviation Cadet in July 1941. After 31 years of distinguished service, he retired in February 1972. Francis' decorations include the Air Force Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross, and Air Medal. He is a Distinguished Alumni of the University of Vermont. He was an Honorary Member of the Albuquerque Rotary Club since l972. He was an active member of the Albuquerque Country Club since l969 and is a past Club President. He belonged to several Senior Golf Groups, and enjoyed golfing throughout the U.S. and in many foreign countries.

He was very proud of his oldest daughter, Cynthia Jane Nye, a champion swimmer, bowler, and bocce player who was the 1989 Special Olympian of the Year for the state of New Mexico. Francis was a supporter of ARC since its inception in 1957, and supported ARCA, in Albuquerque, for decades. He served as the Executive Director of Cynthia's group home, C.A.S.A., Inc. for many years. Cynthia passed away in 2016; Francis said "Cindy was the joy of our lives!" Francis is also predeceased by his three wives: Patricia Price Nye ("the love of my life"), Maureen Gilmore Nye ("a lovely, lovely woman"), Nina Van Ausdal Nye ("a real pistol, a whole lot of fun!"); and his only sibling, younger brother William Percy (Bill) Nye; and step-son, John Gilmore. He is survived by his daughters, Patricia S. Nye, MD (Norma) and Janet M. Olson (Ronald); three grandchildren, David Nye Olson (Suzanne), Daniel Patrick Olson (Jennifer), and Patricia S. Bredehoft (Jason); and six great-grandchildren, Anders and Ellis Olson, Corban and Joshua Olson, and Anna and Matthew Bredehoft. He is also survived by his cousin, Betty Murphy; his nephew, Terry Nye (Rita); the extended families of Maureen Gilmore Nye and Nina Van Ausdal Nye; and other extended family members as well as many friends and admirers. The Nye family would like to express their deep gratitude to the amazing staff members of Ambercare Hospice and Montebello Independent & Assisted Living.

A Catholic Prayer Service will be celebrated by Father Charles Dougherty on Monday, January 21, 2019 at 10:00 a.m. at FRENCH-Lomas, followed by interment with full military honors at Santa Fe National Cemetery at 2:15 p.m. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation, in honor of Francis Nye, to Special Olympics New Mexico, 6600 Palomas Ave NE #207, Albuquerque, NM 87109, 505-856-0342. Please visit our online guestbook for Frank at

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in Albuquerque Journal from Jan. 15 to Jan. 20, 2019.
02:15 PM
Santa Fe National Cemetery
Memories & Condolences
Guest Book sponsored by Nye Daughters
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16 entries
January 9, 2020
The General was a gentleman, and dear friend who I always enjoyed spending time with. He is missed
Marty Gilmore
March 2, 2019
The New England Air Museum, home of the 58th Bomb Wing Memorial, sends its sincere condolences to the family and friends of this true American patriot and hero. General Nye was an original member of the 58th Bomb Wing after flying missions in Europe and Africa. His bravery and contributions to the B-29 war effort are unique among the veterans of the 58th Wing.

May he rest in peace.
Al Schutte
February 2, 2019
Alice Chavez
January 24, 2019
So sorry to hear of Frank's passing. A dear friend to us here in Vermont. Always looked up dad (Ken Estey), an old college friend, when he came to visit. What a life he had, indeed! Will always remember Frank very fondly. Will miss his phone calls and cards/letters. Condolences to all family members.
Kathie Beaudry
January 23, 2019
All of the remarks from Frank's friends are so true and bring up my memories. Not so easy when you're 96.
At Fairchild AFB in Spokane, WA it was told..."The General is coming!"as Division Commander....with his family to be stationed there. ...1966, if I remember correctly. Scurry to get their Welcome and Quarters ready!
As President of the Officer's Wives Club, it was my pleasure and privilege at Board meetings to meet Pat and the other VIP wives and become friends.
Frank ( I mean THE GENERAL) was away so much with AF business..but what a dear person he was when we were all together. Loved getting to know the family through Pat. Now to be able to communicate with daughter, Patricia and learn more about the early years through his book "Memoirs" covering ...1918 to 2018, fascinates. Wow, 100 years of an accomplished and amazing man.
God Bless, dear Frank. Save me a place up there!

Kay Doran
January 23, 2019
My Mother In law, Jeanne Uhl, spoke very fondly of "The Colonel". They were dinner companions at Montebello over the last year. She mentioned him often to us and remarked that he was an engaging and interesting man. She misses his company as I am sure you do. Our family wishes to express its deepest sympathy on the passing of Colonel Nye. While we had hoped to meet him on our next trip to NM, we enjoyed reading about his life and certainly see that he did lead quite the life! We appreciate his friendship to Jeanne. I know she remembers him with much admiration.
David and Pam Uhl
January 22, 2019
My mother, Kathleen Dyer Hamm, loved her cousin Francis Nye. My childhood memories are of visiting the Nye family in Northern Vermont and also touring Washington DC with General Nye. His presence was powerful and commanding yet filled with charm, wit and warmth. He always seemed to have a twinkle in his eyes. I think of him every year when I watch Dean Jagger as General Waverly in White Christmas . Unforgettable. What a Life indeed. Sending love to a beautiful family.
Mary E. Hamm
January 21, 2019
"What a life I had", is indeed a a captivating climatic statement, a melody of serenity and exuberance that is both timely and timeless.
To the entire Nye family our thoughts are with you.
Most affectionately,
Sharon Nye Krasnow and family
January 20, 2019
Frank, we love and miss you already. We will always remember what good care you took of mom. Please give her a big hug from us! I was so proud and happy to attend your one hundredth birthday party. Rest In Peace Frank...all our love, Bob and Liz Gilmore
Robert Gilmore
January 18, 2019
In our lifetime we meet many people and then we meet People. General Nye was the kind of person who lefted a memorable impression. May your fond memories of him bring you comfort. Along with these inspired words HE GIVES POWER TO THE TIRED and FULL MIGHT TO those6 LACKING STRENGTH. (ISAIAH 40:29) MY SINCERE CONDOLENCES.
January 18, 2019
I know you are blessed and will forever be in my heart. God will keep you close.
Judy Foster-Lawson
January 16, 2019
What a what an energetic and warm gentleman General Frank Nye was. I thoroughly enjoyed our many sessions as he called them when we got together to discuss any and everything over his excellently made Manhattans. Frank led a full, interesting and exciting life. I enjoyed the times when he would relate to me his many adventures as a World War Two bomber pilot. I also enjoyed reading is biography, from humble beginnings to a Two Star General quite an accomplishment. My mother was his second wife and he helped fill the void after the passing of my father. He accepted the Gilmore family with open arms. To Cindy, Pat, and Janet my condolenceson on the passing of your father, I know he made you all so very proud. I will miss him.
Rest In Peace General you have done your duty.
Marty Gilmore
January 15, 2019
It was an honor and a privilege to be acquainted with such a great man. My respect and admiration for the General is beyond words. It has also been been a blessing and a pleasure to know his wonderful family who took such very good care of him. God Bless you all with peace as Heaven gains a great soul.

With love and condolences, Marion
January 15, 2019
The most unforgettable gentleman we have ever met - so energetic and caring. Our sincere sympathy is with you at this sorrowful time. Sue and Ashok
January 15, 2019
I am sorry for the loss of your love one. During the days ahead may prayer comfort and strengthen you. 1 Thessalonians 5:17

January 15, 2019
The first time I met General Nye he was the commanding General at Sandia/Kirkland AFB. I was with his daughter, and my college roommate Pat, visiting her parents for Spring Break. From the moment General Nye walked in the door I thought he was larger than life, and that impression has never changed. What a life is right! I've been blessed to be close to Pat and the rest of the Nye family over the years, and getting see General Nye and his incredible spirit endure over the years has been a special part of that relationship. Having "slipped the surly bonds of earth" along with an aging body, I know he is surely flying free now. With great affection - Lindy Gerber and Mike Eck
Lindy Gerber
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