James Chester "J.C." Wynne Jr., a longtime resident of Tyler, passed away after a brief illness on Jan. 24, 2013.
Throughout his life, J.C. enthusiastically promoted Tyler through his entrepreneurial, philanthropic and civic activities. Together with his father, he founded East Texas Oxygen Company, a major distributor of industrial gases and welding supplies. He developed real estate projects, built homes, invested in oil and gas properties, built and operated businesses and facilitated the development of many other businesses through active investment and oversight.
J.C. sought to enhance the quality of life in Tyler for the benefit of all citizens. He received the T.B. Butler Award for Tyler's most outstanding citizen in 1984. He was instrumental in the formation of All Saints Episcopal School, the first recipient of the school's Flame of Excellence award in 1991 and active supporter of the school until his death. His philanthropic interests were broad, and he supported numerous other charitable and civic organizations, including PATH, Christ Episcopal Church, Tyler Day Nursery, East Texas Crisis Center, Tyler Police Foundation, Tyler Economic Development Council, East Texas Medical Center, East Texas Food Bank, Seminary of the Southwest and the Episcopal Diocese of Texas.
J.C. supported the greater community of Tyler through active civic involvement. He served as chairman of the board of the former Stewart Blood Bank, president of Harvey Hall Foundation, president of the Tyler Chamber of Commerce, Tyler Economic Development Council, Texas Rose Festival Association, Order of the Rose and Willow Brook Country Club. He served on the Board of Directors of East Texas Food Bank, East Texas Medical Center, East Texas Hospital Foundation, The University of Texas
Health Science Center at Tyler, Texas Chest Foundation, city of Tyler Airport Advisory Board, Smith County Appraisal District, Peoples National Bank and numerous other professional boards. He served as junior and senior warden at Christ Episcopal Church, and he was active in the Brotherhood of St. Andrews.
A beloved husband, father, grandfather and supporter of Tyler, he was an avid golfer known by friends as "Berger." He was a lifelong Texas Longhorn fan, and was an early and enthusiastic advocate and practitioner of activities that promoted physical fitness. He was a man who believed activity was key to life, and he enjoyed projects and physical endeavors, spending countless hours working in his rose garden.
J.C. was born June 13, 1929, in Wichita Falls to the late Fleet and James Chester Wynne Sr. He moved to Tyler in 1934 where he attended public schools. He attended the Citadel for two years where he was a member of the golf team and served in the Air Force based in Washington, D.C. In 1954, he graduated from the School of Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin where he was a member of the Kappa Sigma fraternity. In 1954, he returned to Tyler where he resided until his death.
He is survived by his wife of 59 years, Marietta "Bitsy" Watson Wynne; one sister, Jo Alice Wynne Tomforde and her husband Mike of Houston; his daughters, Chesley and husband Ted Walters of Tyler, Marietta and husband Wally Scott of Austin, Staley and husband Jack Gray of Austin, Virginia and husband Glenn Campbell of Vicksburg, Miss., and son, James Chester Wynne III and wife Sharon of Tyler; his grandchildren, Chris Walters and his wife Meri, Logan Walters and wife Kate, Chester Walters, Colly Scott, Cile Scott, Charlie Scott, Drew Gray, Collier Gray, Virginia Gray, Carolyn Wynne Campbell, Carlton Campbell, Madeline Wynne, James Chester "Chet" Wynne IV and Russell Wynne.
Funeral services will be held at Christ Episcopal Church in Tyler on Monday, Jan. 28, 2013 at 11 a.m. with the Rev. David Luckenbach officiating. A reception will follow the service in the church Parish Hall.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial contributions be made to Christ Episcopal Church, 118 N. Bois D'Arc, Tyler, 75702, or All Saints Episcopal School, 2695 SSW Loop 323, Tyler, 75701.