Kile, James S.

Here is the link to Jim’s obituary, also printed below.   The online obituary has a guestbook, with entries from non-Williams friends. Please note that an open house to celebrate Jim’s life will be held Saturday, January 16, 2016 from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. at Jim and Sally’s home.


Obituary for Jim Kile

James S. “Jim” Kile of Estes Park passed away December 6. He is survived by his wife of 47 years, Sarah “Sally” Kile, son Steven (Jennifer) Kile of Fort Collins and daughter Tracy (Tim) Kile Schwartz of Fort Collins. He was Grampaw to three grandsons, Ryan, Noah and Jason, and two granddaughters, Audrey and Elise.

Jim was a man of deep love, integrity, humor and joy. He was smart yet humble, and quick to share credit for his own accomplishments. He worked hard to provide for his family and instill in his children and grandchildren values for education, hard work, exploration and pursuit of varied passions. He believed in “paying it forward” and inspired others to do so as well.

Jim was born in Berea, Ohio in November 1944 to Jim Kile, Sr. and Doris Ruby Kile. His parents and his sister, Patricia Kile Zaski, preceded him in death.

He met the love of his life, Sally Smead, in 8th grade. They both graduated high school in Toledo, Ohio in 1962 and sustained their relationship through college; both attended schools in western Massachusetts. Jim earned a bachelor’s degree in American History and Literature in 1967 from Williams College.

Realizing that his draft number could be drawn anytime for the Vietnam War, Jim enlisted in the Naval Reserve in 1964, participating in Officer Candidate School during summers. He was first stationed on the destroyer USS Twining in San Francisco Bay while Sally was doing an internship for graduate school in New York City. Being separated by such a distance proved too difficult, so Jim proposed, and Sally transferred to UC Berkeley to complete her MSW. Their early marriage was tested – and strengthened – by additional distances, including his time serving in Vietnam on the hospital ship USS Repose.

Following honorable discharge and return to civilian life, Jim entered residential real estate sales in Oakland, California, where he found mentors whom he credited throughout his career. He and Sally backpacked and scuba-dived all over Northern California, and welcomed their two children while living there. In 1977, the family moved to Incline Village, Nevada, on the north shore of Lake Tahoe, where they lived until 1988. There, he taught his children a love for nature and the outdoors, including camping, skiing, hiking, swimming and boating. He expanded his real estate experience by founding two residential real estate offices and through the development of commercial property. He earned respect for his quiet leadership, sense of fairness, and good judgment. He taught and monitored ethics for the real estate board, drawing from his clear moral center. Jim supported his children’s activities by volunteering on youth activities boards, coaching baseball and encouraging their musical endeavors.

In 1988, the family moved to Fort Collins, Colorado, where Jim and Sally lived until building their current home in Estes Park in 2004. They enjoyed adventures together around the U.S., and explored many parts of the world. His favorite times were with his extended family.

Jim’s gregarious personality made him the life of any party, with a twinkle in his eye and bad pun at the ready. He loved playing, coaching, and watching baseball; the family’s numerous large and doting dogs; sailing and boating; reading to his grandchildren; gathering and laughing with family; making new friends and reconnecting with old friends. His deep and lasting love for his family will be felt for generations through the legacy of his values and generosity.

In lieu of flowers, the family encourages donations to charitable causes in Jim’s memory. An open house to celebrate Jim’s life will be held Saturday, January 16, 2016 from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. at Jim and Sally’s home.

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4 Responses to Kile, James S.

  1. Bob Conway says:

    Jim was originally in the Class of ’66, and probably not known so well by our classmates. I knew him because he lived down the hall in Tyler House our senior year. That winter I bought his Navy pea jacket from him for $20. I loved that coat, and wore it all over Europe the next winter, using it as a blanket in the cheap, cold hostels I was sleeping in.

    Much more recently, I was Jim’s class agent, and we exchanged emails or phone calls once a year. He was always upbeat. He always donated to the Alumni Fund. He was very happy that he and his sweetheart Sally were still together. A fine person.

  2. Andrew Cadot says:

    Larry Ricketts was just talking at our breakfast with Coach Navarro on Nov. 14 about getting Jim to our 50th.

  3. Larry Ricketts says:

    Like many of you, I learned of Jim’s passing this morning. I am writing this before I have had a chance to talk to Jim’s wife Sally, or to attend the celebration of Jim’s life in January. My heart is full and my eyes are moist, but Jim’s smile and laughter will remain with me forever.

    Jim Kile took a year off after his freshman year and joined our class sophomore year and graduated with us in 1967. Many of us got to visit with Jim and his wife this summer at a Rocky Mountain event on the road to our 50th Reunion. A few of us who played baseball with Jim (Ricketts, Bodinson, McPherson, and Watson) got to relive some of the “glory days.”

    Jim and I did not have any classes together, and in fact, had not visited with each other since college. This was indeed sad inasmuch as we discovered we both lived in Colorado. As is the case for many of us, preparation for an important reunion brought us together. In a short afternoon we were able to discover each other’s life adventures, meet the talented wives we had married, and share our fondness for nature, family, and furry friends. My 14-year old golden retriever followed Jim around all afternoon!

    Jim had not changed since the days we shared time on the baseball field together. Life’s challenges did not sneak up on Jim. He remained a strong good-looking man who rushed headlong and grabbed with gusto.

    My wife Sue and I planned to visit this coming summer with Jim and Sally at the home they had built in Estes Park, Colorado. Unfortunately our last memory of Jim will be his driving away from our summer party, sliding the car window down, shouting in his loud voice, with smile and laughter, “Rickey, what a great day, why haven’t we done this more often?”

    Indeed, indeed. Jim, save a place for me on the bench by that green diamond and we will do it again!

    My prayers and thoughts are with Sally, the children, grandchildren and pets.

  4. John Schwab says:

    All: Knew Jim and Sally from high school in Toledo, then followed him to Williams. Bob Conway is right; Jim left Williams for a year, I believe trying out pitching with one of the major league teams. Cathy and I have not seen Jim and Sally since ’67, but kept apace through the annual Christmas letters!

    A great husband and dad. He will be missed.

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