James Matthew Kyed died peacefully on Nov. 30, 2023 at home in North Truro. He was 86.
He was born on June 3, 1937 in Derby, Conn. to Isabelle Aldona (Anskaitis) Kyed and James Matthew Kyed Sr.
Jim received a B.A. in physics from Bates College and then taught high school for several years. During those years, he also did research at the U.S. Naval Weapons Laboratories and in private industry.
“Intrigued by the role that libraries play in these activities,” he wrote in 2008 for a Bates alumni publication, “I enrolled in the Library Science Program at Simmons College, receiving my master’s degree in 1965.”
He worked at the engineering libraries at M.I.T. for 20 years, serving as head for the last 13 before moving to Atlanta to work at Georgia Tech. He worked for the Harvard University libraries for the last 10 years of his career, a period that overlapped with his six years as head of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Superfund Records Center for the New England region.
James did choral singing and played the organ, and in the 1970s he was a member of the Boston Symphony’s Tanglewood Festival Chorus. Music was one of his passions.
In 1976, Jim bought a cottage in North Truro, which he enlarged and refurbished, “making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear,” he said. He moved there permanently after retiring in 1998.
Jim served on the Truro Conservation Commission and Energy Committee, and he was a library trustee. He chaired the Library Endowment Fund; the new library was built during his eight years as a trustee.
Jim put a premium on good friends, good food, and an active social life. He socialized with artists, scientists, gardeners, photographers, literati, and connoisseurs of fine food and drink, and he loved meeting friends at his favorite Provincetown haunt, the Porch Bar at 5:01 p.m.. He also hosted festive dinner parties, which on two occasions involved a luau complete with roasted pig.
“I enjoy gardening, cooking, and entertaining friends,” Jim told the alumni magazine, and “I enjoy the company of Charlie, my Persian cat.” He also liked to travel, visiting Cuba and, in his later years, Eastern Europe to find his mother’s family in Lithuania.
Jim is survived by his nephew, Douglas, wife Jennifer and grandnieces Olivia and Hallie Kyed of Franklin; his niece Amanda and husband Jeff Kyed-Callahan of San Francisco, Calif.; and his sister-in-law, Donna Kyed of Franklin.
He was predeceased by his brother, Lance D. Kyed, who died in 2020.
Jim’s ashes will be interred at Oak Cliff Cemetery in Derby, Conn. alongside many of his family.