The adventurer, bush pilot, “rock star,” poet, writer, geologist, contractor, farmer and storyteller James Renwick Wylie III, has passed away. The world is going to be a whole lot less exciting now.
Jim died peacefully at his home in Meridian, Idaho, in the early morning of August 18, 2019, at 90 years of age. But, nobody in history packed more into 90 years of life than Jim Wylie.
Born in 1929 in Wilkinsburg, Pennsylvania to James Renwick Wylie Jr. and Alice Bell Wylie, he was raised in Wilkinsburg, and graduated with a degree in Geology from Dartmouth College in 1951.
After college, Jim moved to California, where he met the love of his life, Margery Ellen Miller, in a singles group at the Bakersfield Presbyterian Church. They married in 1954 and together they lived a big enough life for 10 couples - traveling nearly every inch of the world together and making more friends than Facebook ever dreamed of.
Eventually they settled in Aptos, California, where they raised a girl and a boy, Robin and Renny. Jim became a building contractor, a developer, a farmer and 1,000 other things only his unquenchable spirit could dream up. He and Margie were married for 51 years before she passed away in early 2006.
In his early career, Jim was a geologist for Gulf Oil Company and worked as a wildcatter from Bakersfield to Anchorage to Mississippi. Jim had a passion for adventure, with a special fondness for Alaska. He logged 7,000 hours as a bush pilot there, where he prospected and explored the land, and made many lifelong friends.
He loved poetry and had an amazing memory for reciting it, too. If you never heard Jim work and whisper his way through “The Cremation of Sam McGee,” you really missed a howling evening. He also became a fine writer, and though he’s gone now, he lives on in the many stories he told about his life and the creative works of fiction he penned.
Jim leaves behind those two children, Robin Wylie Lindquist (Craig) and James Renwick Wylie IV (Marcelyn); four grandchildren: Alise Lindquist Erickson (Bryninn), Clay Anderson Lindquist (Alysson), James Renwick Wylie V and Erik Nils Wylie; three great-grandchildren: James Bryninn, Ian Orville and Maryn Margery Erickson; brother, John Sheridan Wylie and many nieces and nephews.
He was a life-long Presbyterian, and a charter member of St. Andrew United Presbyterian Church of Aptos, California. Jim was always looking ahead to the next adventure, and is now on to his most epic adventure of all!
His family wishes to express its gratitude to 24/7 Homecare and St. Luke’s Hospice for their excellent and loving care of Jim this summer. You made his last days comfortable and gave us comfort and guidance as well. The family also requests that, in lieu of flowers, well-wishers donate to “Doctors Without Borders,” a charity that Jim long believed in.
A Celebration of His Life will be held on Saturday, August 24th, at 2:30 pm at Touchmark, 4037 E. Clocktower Lane, Meridian, Idaho. Bring stories, toasts, and memories of the kind of man they don’t often make anymore. Remembrances may be left for the family at www.AccentFuneral.com. Services are under the care of Accent Funeral Home and Cremation, Meridian.