James "Jim" Ray SybertDecember 25, 1934 ~ December 15, 2017 (age 82)
James R. (Jim) Sybert, 82, died at his home in Naples, Florida on December 15, 2017. He and his wife, Sue, also lived part time in Glenwood Springs, Colorado.
In Colorado, Jim enjoyed hiking with the 100 Club, river rafting with friends and contemplating the night sky. In Florida, he favored tennis and toasting the sunset at Pelican Bay. Throughout retirement, he traveled worldwide with a deep appreciation of humanity and culture.
Jim left Muleshoe, Texas in 1952 to enroll in North Texas State College (now UNT) in Denton. He began teaching at North Texas in 1956 before leaving to pursue a PhD from LSU. After receiving his doctorate in 1961, Dr. Sybert returned to North Texas until his retirement as an emeritus professor in 2002. He served as chair of the physics department from 1969 until 1980.
Jim Sybert was well-loved as a teacher. In addition to his teaching at North Texas, he served as visiting faculty at Southern Methodist University, University of Texas at Dallas, Instituto Politechnico Nacional (Mexico), San Diego State University, Institut Teknologi MARA (Malaysia), Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and Louisiana State University.
Born Jimmy Ray Sybert on Christmas Day of 1934, Jim lost no time making his mark upon the world. By the time he left Muleshoe in 1952, Jim had lived in 17 different homes and worked a dozen different jobs. He worked as a store clerk, farm laborer, janitor, butcher, bus driver, delivery boy, machine repairman, surveyor, carpenter, electrician, paper boy, and anything else he could do to help support the family and save for college. His parents, Earl & Hallie Sybert, were committed to self-reliance, education and public service. They were the first, but certainly not the last he inspired.
After decades of well-meaning people “correcting” his given name Jimmy to James, he made honest folk of his helpers by changing his name legally.
Jim lived a great life. He always had a funny story to share, and he never met a stranger. His great baritone laugh would brighten any room. He will be sorely missed, but his memory will bring a smile or a chuckle to those who knew him well.
He is survived by his wife, Sue Maisch, daughter Nancy Casperson Salensky of Denton, TX; son David Mark Sybert of Naples, FL; daughter Julia Sybert Monticino of Argyle, TX; son Daniel Byron Sybert of Denton, TX; grandchildren Erica Casperson and Stephen Salensky of Aurora, CO, and Arya and Aidan Monticino of Argyle, TX. Besides family, Jim leaves many, many dear friends: as he would say, “You know who you are.”
A celebration of life will be held at a date and time to be announced. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to the Jim Sybert Memorial Fund at UNT, or the charity of your choice.