Obituary: James Allen Kyte Aug. 26, 1929 – May 3, 2022

Funeral services for James Allen Kyte, 92, of Portales will be held at 10:00 a.m., Tuesday, May 10, 2022 in the Wheeler Mortuary Chapel with Rev. Phillip Smith officiating.  Burial will follow in the Mt. Zion Cemetery with Carroll Thomson, Ryan Wolking, Mickey Hargrove, Kerry Victor, Wayne Victor, and Roger Hollowell serving as pallbearers. 

James Allen Kyte was born August 26, 1929 at the family farm in rural Roosevelt County, and died at his home in Portales on the morning of May 3, 2022.  James was a 1949 graduate of Dora High School.  He was the president of his class, and also a delegate to the very first Boy’s State held in the state of New Mexico.  The event is sponsored by the American Legion, of which he was later a very active member.

On Oct. 1, 1949 in Portales, James was married to the love of his life, Betty Victor.  For the next couple of years, he farmed with his family while working several local jobs.  In 1951, he joined the U.S. Navy.  Although it was during the Korean Conflict, James was stationed stateside at Key West, FL, where he worked adapting sonar equipment to be used on helicopters, rather than the blimps that were used during WWII.  Following his discharge in 1955, he returned home and ran his parents’ farm and dairy, and went to college at Eastern New Mexico University.  When he graduated in 1962, he moved his young family to Amarillo where he taught aircraft mechanics at the Air Force base there.  His next job was in Biloxi, MS, teaching at Keesler Air Force Base.  From there he moved to Holloman Air Force Base at Alamogordo, where he was in charge of procurement for operations, including the high-speed test track and the nearby national observatory.  In 1972 he took a job at Cannon Air Force Base, where he worked as a guidance counselor in the Education Office.  During his tenure there, he also managed to find time to earn his Master Degree in Education from ENMU (1977).  James had been retired from civil service since 1988, but remained busy running his farm, building his home, and serving in the community.

Mr. Kyte was a member of the First Baptist Church in Portales.  In addition, he was an active member of both the Elida and Portales Masonic Lodges, where he had served in all the offices and was a Past Master in both lodges.  For many years, he served as Chaplain.  His other great love was the American Legion, where he had participated in more than 300 flag folding ceremonies to honor veterans.

James is survived by his daughter and son-in-law, Vickie and Carroll Thomson of White Rock; his daughter-in-law, Andrea Kyte of Taos; five grandchildren, Erica Arena, Alianne (Jeff) Bacon, Theo (John) Kyte Reid, Carolyn (Jonathan) Bales, and Emily (Ryan) Wolking; 10 great-grandchildren, Madeline and Archer Arena, Annabella and John Bacon, Margaret, Katherine and Ginevra Bales, and James, Charles and Juliette Wolking; as well as a number of other family members.  He was preceded in death by his parents, his son, Mike Kyte, who died June 15, 2017, and by his beloved wife, Betty, who died July 13, 2016.