James Louis Dye

July 18, 1927October 8, 2021

Dr. James (Jim) L. Dye, beloved husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather passed away on October 8, 2021, in Longmont, Colorado. Jim was born on July 18, 1927, in Sudan, Minnesota. Jim was preceded in death by his parents, Ray and Hildur Dye, brothers: Maurice, David (Joyce), and his sister Barbara (Archie) Larsen.

Jim attended Virginia High School in Virginia, Minnesota, where he met the love of his life, Angeline Medure. Jim and Angie were married in Buhl, Minnesota on June 10, 1948.

Jim enlisted in the Army in 1945 and was quickly promoted to Corporal.

Jim received his associate’s degree from Virginia Junior College, a bachelor’s degree from Gustavus Adolphus College, and his Ph.D. from Iowa State University. He joined the Department of Chemistry at Michigan State University in 1953.

Jim was a pioneer in Chemistry, overturning existing ideas about alkali metal chemistry and synthesizing the first crystalline electride. He added the word “electride” to the dictionary. Jim later co-founded SiGNa Chemistry, which received the Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award in 2008. Jim was elected to the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He received two Guggenheim Fellowships, a Fulbright Fellowship, and the American Chemical Society National Award in Inorganic Chemistry. Jim conducted his sabbatical research with Nobel Laureates Manfred Eigen, Jean-Marie Lehn, and others. A gifted teacher, Jim educated numerous Ph.D. students, post-doctoral researchers, and undergraduates, and is remembered fondly.

Jim is survived by Angie his wife of 73 years, his daughter Roberta (Hugh) Tanner of Longmont, Colorado, his son Tom (Sandra) Dye of Austin, Texas, his daughter, Brenda Dye-Mugno of Loveland, Colorado, and his 10 grandchildren, 12 great-grandchildren, sister Amy (Harvey) Matheson and brother Joel (Shirley, deceased) Dye.

Jim Dye was a man of God and a member and deacon at University Lutheran Church in East Lansing, Michigan. Jim traveled the world with his wife, Angie, and you may have seen them walking hand in hand at Hidden Lakes in East Lansing. He was a gardener, golfer, writer and avid fisherman. Jim fished for walleye in Minnesota, Michigan and Canada. One specific fishing adventure stands out from the rest: While fishing in the Amazon, Angie out-fished not only Jim but all of the men at in the camp by catching a 27 lb. peacock bass. Jim was so proud of Angie that he mounted her trophy fish and it now sits on the wall in their home. A memorial will be held in Longmont, Colorado at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, October 24 at Abundant Life Church in Longmont. Due to COVID, the East Lansing memorial is postponed. Donations may be made to the "James L. Dye Endowed Chair in Materials Chemistry” honoring Jim and his devotion to education at MSU. Those wishing to contribute can do so at:


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James Louis Dye

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Chen Huang

October 21, 2021

Deepest condolences to the Dye family.

I have fond memories of tagging along as a kid my dad to the family get-togethers with Prof. Dye and Angie. We had great fun with the nicest people at the picnics, parties, and fishing trips.

It was only later in my life when I came to know about the great chemistry work that was being done in the Dye labs. I have deep respect for Prof. Dye and his hard working students.

Prof. Dye was very influential in my father’s life, and as a result, made a very positive impact on my family. He will be missed!