Carl Hye-Knudsen, Jr.

August 21, 1939March 31, 2021

Obituary of Carl Hye-Knudsen Jr.

Carl Hye-Knudsen Jr., age 81, of Lakewood Ranch, Florida died on March 31, 2021 after a lengthy battle with Parkinson’s Disease.

He was born in Far Rockaway, NY to the late Carl and Mary (Pitts) Hye-Knudsen and grew up in Rockville Center, NY. He attended Northfield Mount Herman School and graduated from Hobart College in 1961 with a degree in music. He was in ROTC and was commissioned in the U.S. Air Force upon graduation. He retired from the Air Force after 24 years of service, as a Lt. Colonel. Carl was a pilot with over 5500 hours of flying time. He was a decorated Vietnam veteran who flew over 500 combat missions and received a Distinguished Flying Cross, a Purple Heart and numerous other awards. Carl completed his military career serving multiple tours in the Pentagon. He was involved with the return of the Iranian Hostages, deployment of military controllers during the Air Traffic Controllers Strike and providing military support to the Inauguration of President Ronald Regan in 1985.

After retirement from the Air Force, Carl built his retirement home on the water in the Northern Neck of VA. He lived there for twenty years and was project manager for construction projects. In 2005 he relocated to Lakewood Ranch FL.

Carl was a life-long Episcopalian and served as Junior and Senior Warden at St. James Episcopal Church in Montross VA and as Junior Warden at St. Boniface Episcopal Church in Sarasota, FL. Carl began singing in church choirs as a young boy, and it was one of the many “loves of his life”. Carl continued to sing in the St Boniface choir as long as his health permitted and was a dedicated member of the MOB (Men of Boniface).

Carl learned to sail at an early age, and sailing became a passion. He made a number of offshore passages from his home in Virginia to the Caribbean, and Carl and his wife, Melba sailed their beloved “Carmel II” for 30 years on the Chesapeake Bay. In 1995 they realized a life-long dream of living aboard their sailboat and had the good fortune to do extensive travel.

Carl had an outgoing personality and never met a stranger. He will be remembered for his positive attitude and was often referred to as the “spark plug” of an organization. Carl was a 1st generation American and descended from a large Danish family. He cherished the time he spent in Denmark with family and friends.

Carl is survived by his wife of 45 years, Melba Sluder Hye-Knudsen of Lakewood Ranch, FL; his sister, Karen Harrell of Falmouth, ME; his children, Carl Hye-Knudsen III (Tammy), Ingrid DePinto (Joe), and Lisa Lange; seven grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. Carl took great pride in the accomplishments of his children and grandchildren, all of whom live in Texas. Additionally, Carl is survived by some special nieces and nephews.

A Memorial Service at St Boniface Episcopal Church and an honors burial at the Sarasota National Cemetery will be delayed due of COVID-19.

In thanksgiving for the love and care provided to Carl and so many others, memorial donations should be made to the Pines of Sarasota Foundation (Employee Appreciation Fund), 1501 N. Orange Avenue, Sarasota FL 34236.

Arrangements entrusted to Robert Toale and Sons at Palms Memorial Park, 170 Honore Avenue, Sarasota, FL 34232. (941) 371-4962.


No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.


Carl Hye-Knudsen, Jr.

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