James T. Kyle


CATHEDRAL CITY, Calif. - James T. Kyle, 81, died August 11, 2019, at his home in Cathedral City, Calif.
He leaves his husband Mark Leggett; brothers Joseph and John (Peter Satten); sons Christopher (Karen), Benjamin (Sarah), and Joshua; stepchildren Nicholas Leggett (Emily Crone) and Katherine Leggett (Georg Seelig); nephew Alexander Kyle (Deborah); grandchildren William Kyle, Margaret Kyle, Josh Kyle, Duncan Kyle, Angus Kyle, Malcolm Kyle, Felix Leggett, Camille Seelig, and Claire Seelig; and grandnieces Anna Kyle and Erin Kyle.
James was born October 17, 1937, in Cincinnati, Ohio, the second son of John and Mildred (Johnson) Kyle. After graduating from Walnut Hills High School in 1955, he attended Kenyon College, where he was a member of Phi Kappa Sigma and earned a degree in economics in 1959. He then moved on to Indiana University, where he completed an MBA in 1961. In 1963 he took a job teaching economics at Indiana State University in Terre Haute, where he became an associate professor and served for many years as department chair. He retired in 2000.
In 1985 he met Mark Leggett at a support group for gay fathers in Indianapolis and they soon formed a committed relationship. After Mark's retirement in 2003, they moved to Sarasota, Florida, and then to Palm Springs in 2009. James was active in progressive causes, especially civil rights and poverty, and volunteered at the Coachella Valley Preserve, several area theaters, at the Palm Springs Art Museum, and at the Church of St. Paul in the Desert (Episcopal). It was there that he and Mark were married on November 16, 2013, an event long in coming that was celebrated by the entire family.
James was a knowledgeable cook renowned for his multi-course dinner parties, a superb bridge player, an avid world traveler, and a game companion during Mark's beloved birding expeditions. He believed in and lived the volunteer spirit and was generous in giving to various charities. Chief among them was Kenyon College, his alma mater, which he kept close to his heart throughout his life. One of his happiest moments was watching his grandson William graduate with Kenyon's class of 2017.
A memorial service celebrating the life of James Kyle will be held on Saturday, September 7, 2019, at 1 p.m., at the Church of St. Paul in the Desert in Palm Springs (Episcopal). Reception to follow in the parish hall. The dress code is CASUAL. Please. It will be hot...
In honor of James' commitment to Kenyon, the family suggests that those wishing to make a memorial gift make a donation in his name to the college's John K. and Mildred L. Kyle Scholarship Fund, c/o Kenyon College, Gambier, OH 43022.
Finally, the family would like to express its deep gratitude to Rey and Esmeralda of Family Hospice Care and Raquel of Always Best Care for their devoted service to James during the last months of his life.
To plant a tree in memory of James T. Kyle, please visit Tribute Store.
Published on August 16, 2019
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10 posts

Stephen Brown
Sep 16, 2019
A memorial tree was planted in memory of James T. Kyle.  Plant a tree
Randal Ramig
Sep 03, 2019
A memorial tree was planted in memory of James T. Kyle.  Plant a tree
Nancy Donnelly Hinds
Aug 18, 2019
So glad I got to know you even though it was for such a short time.
Jerry Catalano
Aug 18, 2019
St. Boniface misses you even after all this time. Happy journey to be with the Father. Blessings
for Mark and the entire family. Peace, love and happiness.
George Kenworthy & Tim Tran
Aug 18, 2019
Now you will feel no rain, Now you will feel no cold. There is no more pain or loneliness for you. Enter into togetherness in your resting place, you are one with the earth.
Traveling through countless realms, touching all facets of creation, blossoms heavier than fruit will spread each petal wide, and Time - Time dead ripe, will sweeten all its beauty with your farewell.
Aug 17, 2019
James, I will miss your all encompassing and gentle love. Being around you was like being wrapped up in a fur blanket. You and Mark, the husbands, took on the world with wit and a deft touch, and an extra smile for each other. It was a pleasure to be around you.
Robert Giannini
Aug 17, 2019
This was a very good man. The world has been enhanced by his years amongst us.
Priscilla and Richard Ferguson-Wagstaffe
Aug 17, 2019
We remember so fondly all our times with Jim and Mark in Indianapolis...and with our mother and her sister - the "Storks"....for whom Jim and Mark were fabulous friends. Here's to many St. Lucia celebrations and wonderful dinners in between...happy times...
Love, Priscilla and Richard
Fred Michael Otero
Aug 17, 2019
I was lucky enough to spend some time in Argentina with Jmes and Mark. Their openness and expression of love for each other was inspirational. I have since followd both on Facebook. He will be missed
Dana Anderson
Aug 17, 2019
Dear Mark and all, I am so blessed to have met James with you here in Hawaii and to have shared a meal by the sea. My heart is with you, with love.