Deceased February 1, 2019
Jim died on Feb. 1, 2019. Until the previous day, he had lived at home in Delmar, N.Y. His house was next door to his childhood home.
Jim’s wife, Diane, died in 1984. He is survived by four children, Christine Clyne ’80 (Edward Beecher ’81) of Tamworth, N.H.; James W. Clyne Jr. (Shauneen McNally) of Delmar; Elizabeth Clyne of Delmar and Carolyn Clyne (Andrew Ross) of Sandy, Utah; six grandchildren and two great-grandchildren, and by longtime friend Debby Greer, who joined him at many class reunions.
Jim came to Amherst from Bethlehem Central High School, where he lettered in football, basketball and baseball. At Amherst he majored in American studies and was a mainstay of the basketball team, the quintessential sixth man, regularly teaming with Tony Mahar ’54 in the backcourt. He played a leadership role in the Theta Delt house as well, serving as co-rushing chairman junior year and president our senior year.
After Amherst, Jim graduated from the Albany Law School and served in the U.S. Air Force as judge advocate general. He returned to Albany and joined the New York State Insurance Department, where he had a distinguished career, rising to deputy superintendent with responsibility for regulatory oversight of all health and life insurers. He took up golf and played well until shortly before his death, and he never stopped rooting for his beloved New York Giants, Boston Celtics and St. Louis Cardinals.
Jim was a natural leader, made all the more effective by his quiet confidence and wry humor. He devoted this talent to the things that were important to him—his work, his religion, his sports and especially his family and friends. As Debby has said, “He made all of us who knew him well, better people.”
Chris Clyne ’80 and Cliff Storms ’54