John Theodore Dye
Lancaster - On February 8, 2018, John Theodore Dye, after living an extremely full and meaningful 90 years, left us physically. But he stays with us in the stories he told, the experiences he created, the buildings he designed, and the impact he had on our hearts.
John was born on August 13, 1927 in Dayton, Ohio to Charles and Ruth Ferree Dye. On New Year's Eve 1958 he met Jayne Wunsch on a blind date, and two days later by their third date, they were in love. On July 4, 1960, they married. Everyone celebrated with fireworks! They raised five children, Charles, Gordon, Carole, Philip, and Catherine.
John received his architecture degree from the University of Michigan in 1960, and practiced for 49 years in Washington, DC, Fort Lauderdale, FL, Oscoda, MI, and Lancaster, OH. He also taught for 14 years at Fisher Catholic High School.
John's greatest joy was sharing his love for history and architecture with others, and he loved crafting things by hand. He combined these two passions and built beautiful displays of historical artifacts. He gave almost weekly historical talks to students and other groups on his favorite topics, the Revolutionary War, Civil War, and both World Wars. And he always brought many historical objects for people to touch. "To make history real," he said.
Having John with you when you went anywhere, was like having your own private tour guide. He could find a way to connect anything to a historical story he was anxious to share. You could be changing a flat tire, and John would tell you a story that related to it… from the Civil War. You could be standing behind him in line at Slater's Hardware, having never met him, and by the time you paid he'd taken you around the world.
Perhaps John's greatest legacy was his work with the Rotary International Youth Exchange program that helps bring the world closer together by exchanging students from over 100 countries. He was involved in the program as a leader for nearly 30 years.
Giving back to the community was very important to John and he did so through Rotary, coaching, scouting, community theater, museums, historical organizations, and serving his country in the United States Navy during World War II.
John was preceded in death by his son Gordon, his brother Fred, and his sister Dorothy Burns. He is survived by his wife Jayne, his four children and their spouses: Charles and Sisko, Carole and Hernán, Philip, Catherine and Kelly, and his grandchildren, Hernán, Stefanie, Kate, Christian, Cozette, Jayne, and John.
John truly touched countless lives around the planet. It's been said that he never met a stranger. We are all better for having known him. May we carry on his spirit of love, sharing, and service to others.
We're celebrating John's life in typical John Dye fashion... by throwing a big party! Join us Saturday, February 17 for an Open House from 1:30 to 4:30pm at The Lancaster Country Club, 3100 Country Club Rd SW, Lancaster, OH 43130. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to The Fairfield County Heritage Association, 105 E. Wheeling St., Lancaster, OH 43130.
Published in Lancaster Eagle-Gazette on Feb. 12, 2018.