Lt. Colonel (ret.) James A. Pyke Jr., 83, passed away Feb. 11 after courageously battling a lengthy illness.
James fought the good fight and was a fearless patriot from the old school. A warrior and a survivor, he cared deeply about his family and country.
He was born Nov. 8, 1933, in New York City, son of the late James and Rita (Barrett) Pyke Sr. He was educated at Xavier High School in New York City and Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., graduating in 1955.
Later that year, he was commissioned as a 2nd Lt. in the U.S. Air Force and served as an officer and pilot for 28 years. Some of his duty stations included Takhli AFB during the Vietnam War, the 1st ACCS at Andrews AFB and the 55th SRW in the Strategic Air Command at Offutt AFB. Among the aircraft he piloted were the E-4B (Boeing 747), part of the Advanced Airborne Command Post, and the Boeing KC-135, an aerial refueling aircraft.
His awards included the Silver Star, Bronze Star, Distinguished Flying Cross, the Vietnam Service Medal and the Presidential Unit Citation Award.
He retired from the Air Force in 1983. In retirement he and his wife, B.J., made Cheyenne their home.
He is survived by his sons, James A. Pyke III and Mark W. Pyke; daughters-in-law, Nancy Pyke and Lesa Pyke; grandsons, Conor Pyke, Chase Pyke, Jake Pyke and Elijah Pyke; granddaughter, Ellie Pyke; his sister, Eileen Phillips; daughters-in-law, Karen Gollihur, Linda Brocklehurst, and Susan and husband Johnny Peralta; and son-in-law, Mike and wife Kim Brocklehurst.
He also leaves behind all those he has served with, who have contributed to his rich and rewarding life.
He was preceded in death by his wife, B.J.
The family would like to thank the wonderful ICU staff of the Denver Health Medical Center for the gentleness and care they provided in his last days.
A visitation will be from 4-8 p.m. Friday at Wiederspahn-Radomsky Funeral Home, 1900 E. 19th St. in Cheyenne.
James will be laid to rest Sunday beside his wife, B.J., at Sunset Memorial Park in Albuquerque, N.M.
In lieu of flowers, donations to the Ageless Aviation Dreams Foundation, a 501(c) charitable organization dedicated to giving back to seniors and veterans living in long-term care communities, are suggested by his family.
This is a paid obituary.