James J. Lytle Jr. was born on March 7, 1932, in Springfield, Ohio, as the only child of James Lytle Sr. and Minnie Hutchins Lytle, though he grew up in a large, close-knit extended family.
Brother Lytle changed his address to one in eternity when he passed peacefully on his 89th birthday atthe home of his son, Robert Keith Lytle, who was his loving caregiver for the past 10 years. In most recent years, they lived in Yellow Springs, Ohio, a community that Brother Lytle loved and was an active member of for many years before retirement.
Brother Lytle graduated from Springfield High School and attended Central State University, where he was to study political science until he was called to serve his nation. In answering the call, he was deployed for active duty in the Korean War (Seoul) with the 7thRecon Co. Infantry Division of the U.S. Army. His military ways, strong sense of discipline and character extended beyond active duty as he delivered repeated lectures to his three children with military precision. He drilled down on lessons of integrity, doing your best, the importance of organization and punctuality — and respecting yourself and others.
Like his own father, Brother James Lytle was a true gentleman, but he firmly divided what he believed was right from wrong. He deeply loved his family and was a great provider. He also knew how to make people feel special — not only his three children, but his five grandchildren, three great grandchildren, relatives, in-laws and friends, who knew him as "Papa," "Uncle Jimmy," "Cousin Jimmy," or "Little Jimmy." Whatever the moniker, he was fondly known for his love of snacks, pampered dogs and many cat naps. He also was known for his propensity to frequently change his favorite sports team.
Brother Lytle accepted Christ as his personal Savior and faithfully supported and attended his church,
St. John Missionary Baptist Church of Springfield, Ohio, where he once served as chair of the Board of Trustees. He also sang in the Men's Chorus and was active in Sunday School, taking his children with him.
Brother Lytle was known for his keen sense of fashion, yet kind and unpretentious nature. In his younger years, he was a smooth dancer, and throughout life, he enjoyed jazz, blues, soul and gospel music. One of his favorite contemporary songs was "I Won't Complain" by Rev. Paul Jones and, indeed, he never did. He was faithful in his duties and exhibited a strong work ethic, whether backing small businesses, serving his nation, or working for more than 30 years as a civil servant at Wright Patterson Air Force Base, where he retired as a budget analyst of the Wright Patterson AFB Medical Center. Brother Lytle was active in his community and maintained good physical health. For years, he would run two to three miles a day and enjoyed working in his flower gardens. When he retired, Brother Lytle was compensated for two full years in unclaimed sick leave, a testament of his good health and excellent work ethic.
Brother Lytle was preceded in death by his parents, James and Minnie Lytle, and his wife of 36 years, H. Delores McGee-Lytle. He is forever cherished by his three children from his first marriage of 20 years to the late Freda Baker Lytle: Rosalyn (James) Bacon; Robert (the late Jenell Lane) Lytle; and Robin (Edward) Turner; and five loving grandchildren: Cory Bacon, Kyle Bacon, Talmadge Lytle, Kamille Turner, Katy Turner; three great grandchildren: Elyse Lytle, Tristan Lytle and Nadia Lytle; two beloved aunts,Lois Young and Doris Elder; a dear sister-in-law, Reva Hutchins; and a close extended family and many friends.
Due to public health considerations private services and a committal service will take place on March 22, 2021 with full military honors by the United States Army Honor Guard in Dayton National Cemetery.
A Memorial service will be held to honor the life of James J. Lytle Jr., Sept. 4, 2021 at 3:00 p.m. at St. John Missionary Baptist Church, pending public health considerations.
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