At the beginning of November, my dad, Harold A. Dye, celebrated his 98th birthday. Early this morning, he slipped into eternity. Below is a summary biography, which doesn’t even include the time he was president of the United States (it’s a fun and credible story — ask me about it some time).
Several of the care-givers at the assisted living facility where he’s lived the last fifteen years made heart-warming statements along the lines of “It’s been an honor to know your dad.” Thank you for your legacy, dad.
12/12/2015 update: Memorial Service will be JANUARY 16, 2pm, at King’s Bridge Retirement Center
BRIGADIER GENERAL HAROLD A. DYE
Harold Dye was born in Dothan Alabama in 1917. He moved to Atlanta, GA when he was three months old. He attended Boys High School and later Georgia Tech, graduating as a Ceramic Engineer. He died December 9, 2015. He was 98 years old.
Most of his life was spent serving his country. He served as an Artillery Battery Commander in the in Europe during World War II. During the Korean War he served as an Advanced Artillery instructor in the Artillery School at Fort Sill, Oklahoma before being assigned as a Lt. Col. to the United Nations Military Armistice Commission, in Korea. This was followed by a three year tour as Professor of Military Science and Tactics at Iowa State College in Ames, Iowa. He then served with the Department of Army and Secretary of Defense Staffs during the Vietnam War.
He served a three year tour on the Army General Staff in the Pentagon as the Strategic Army Corp Liaison Officer before becoming a Battalion Commander in Aschaffenburg, Germany. He was Commander of an Artillery Group of five Battalions of Tube and Missile Artillery. As a Colonel, Dye stated that he had more kilotons of fire-power under his command than the total of all fire-power used by the Allies in World War II. That fire-power was never used but the deployment of the Persian Missile to his Artillery Group in Bavaria brought an end to the “Cold” war.
He was awarded numerous medals including the Legion of Merit but states that his most cherished award was being named by the Chief of Chaplains as “Layman of the Year” for the U.S. Army in Europe. Even with a very heavy command load as an artillery Group Commander of over 3500 men he still managed to teach Sunday School in the Army Chapels in Aschaffenburg, Kitzengen, and Bamberg, Germany–just as he had done in Korea during and after the Korean war.
General Dye retired from the army in 1967 after 32 years of service. After two weeks of retirement he was appointed Deputy Commissioner of Industry and Trade for the State of Georgia by Governor Lester Maddox.
As Deputy Commissioner he helped with the great expansion of Georgia Business and Industry. He was instrumental in bring the sluggish per capita income of Georgia to the average per capita income of the United States. He helped change the state from predominantly agricultural to manufacturing and related businesses. He said, “Instead of one man farming 100 acres, 100 men could now be employed in a factory covering only one acre. And, each of the 100 people would have a greater income than the farmer.”
General Dye was instrumental in the development of the World Congress Center which put Atlanta and Georgia on the World map.
General Dye resigned from Industry and Trade in 1973 to run for Mayor of Atlanta, and a year later for Governor of Georgia. He didn’t win either election, but made a strong showing against some other well-known candidates.
General Dye was instrumental in re-forming the Gate City Guard in 1946 and was its first Commander after WW II. The Gate City Guard was first established in Georgia in 1856 with the express purpose of Defending Georgia against a possible invasion from outside the State or uprising within the State. He joined the Old Guard of the Gate City Guard in 1948 and was its Commander in 1952. He was the senior member. The Old Guard was established in 1868 by War Between the States veterans who had served in the Gate City Guard, but were too old to bear arms.
He was an Elder at Highlands Presbyterian church where he taught Sunday School since he was 19 years old.
Harold was pre-deceased by his wife of 70 years, Emma Jean Townley Dye. They were the proud parents of four children, grandparents of eleven, great grandparents of sixteen (and counting) and great, great grandparents of two. He often said, “Most of the time, the parents have to be around to help me know who’s who“.