Kyle Dyas: Memorial service set for KUNC music director who took his own life

Update: A memorial service for Kyle Dyas, music director for KUNC, who took his own life earlier this month, has now been scheduled for 1 p.m. Friday, March 18, at the First United Methodist Church in Fort Collins; click here for more information. The event is dubbed "a celebration of his life," and the event's Facebook page sums it up like so: "A beautiful soul. A sonorous voice. Our friend. Please help us celebrate his life and share our journey of healing and understanding."

In the meantime, tributes to Dyas continue to pour in. Some of the latest:

Kyle, the beauty of who you were now shines forth in the people who knew and loved you and together mourn your loss. May you be surrounded by real peace and the abiding love of God and everyone here -- and there, wherever you are. Thank you for being with us and imparting your many gifts. And to Michele, family, and friends -- I wish you love, grace, healing, and the sense that Kyle will always be with you, always, all ways, known or not known. My heart goes out to you.

I'm grasping for words to express the sadness I feel. I'm at a loss of what to say, trying to understand why this happened. Life is very fragile.. Heartfelt condolences are sent to Kyles loved ones and friends.

Kyle's final choice leaves me evaluating everything... Everything! Kyle's final choice was to FLY. He flew. He did. Not for long but it happened. Reminds me so very much of Jonathan Livingston Seagull. Flying one moment and then transformed the next, in an instant. Everything can change in an instant. Kyle, Enjoy your Freedom as we Celebrate your Life.

Look below for our earlier coverage.

Update, 8:06 a.m. March 11: Yesterday, the Denver coroner's office identified the man who committed suicide from the SkyClub, on the 42nd floor of the Spire Building, as Kyle Dyas, the longtime music director for KUNC-FM, a well-loved Greeley public-radio station.

The station has posted an "In Remembrance..." page devoted to Dyas, and a great many listeners have already shared their heartfelt condolences. Some examples:

My heart and prayers go out to Kyle's family and radio family, KUNC, as you try to cope and heal with Kyle's tragic death. The music direction Kyle forged is the best programming I've heard across the nation as I always tune into npr stations with my travels. I'm so sorry for your loss. May all of you find peace.

How very sad. Kyle was part of the KUNC personality, a steady rock you expected and counted on. We will miss him as will the world. Condolences to his family and the KUNC family and may God bless all.

Kyle's professionalism and good radio sense contributed hugely to the success of KUNC's programming. He was affable, creative, thoughtful, brilliant. I will miss him.

I met Kyle in Old Town Square a couple of years ago and recently on a couple of Saturdays saw he and his family having lunch in Old Town, he was always kind and personable. I loved listening when he was on air -- his soothing voice and many times it was like he knew what I needed to hear. My heart felt condolences go out to his family and his KUNC family. He will be GREATLY missed.

It's such a sad day to lose such a beautiful soul in our midst.

Dyas's KUNC bio remains online. It reads:

I began working at KUNC while finishing my B.A. in Speech Communication at the University of Northern Colorado. In addition to my on-air duties, I currently spend my time previewing new music and working on providing a blend of music that fulfills our mission of inspiring and entertaining our audience. Much of what we do at KUNC reflects my true passions in life: promoting the arts, making connections with the community and ultimately seeking ways to educate, inspire and to bring humor into peoples lives.

When I am not at KUNC, I love to take in live theatre, concerts and also explore the beautiful outdoors of Colorado by biking, running and hiking in the mountains.

In life, we are often defined by whom we associate with and what we do, and with that in mind I am very honored to work with such a talented and professional staff and to be a part of KUNC.

We've placed a call to KUNC president and CEO Neil Best. When he gets back to us, we'll update this post. In the meantime, we join the KUNC community in mourning the passing of Kyle Dyas. Rest in peace.

Update, 8:06 a.m. March 11: Just spoke with Neil Best, KUNC's president and CEO, who shared his response, and that of the station's staff, to Kyle Dyas's death.

"I think there's a certain amount of denial that goes on," he admits, "and there's obviously been shock. It's so sad that Kyle is not here to know how people feel. Looking at the comments on our website and our Facebook page and taking the calls from people, that's been deeply comforting to us. But there's still disbelief. You don't expect to get a call late on a Sunday night like this one."

The Fort Collins Coloradoan piece about Dyas's passing quotes his longtime girlfriend, Michelle Venus, as saying he "had been struggling with several issues and was feeling overwhelmed." But Best says "I saw no signs of it. Everybody commented that Kyle always seemed to have a spring in his step and a cheery hello for everyone. The sorts of obvious things people talk about after something like this were simply not here."

A memorial service is scheduled for this Saturday in Dyas's hometown of Lincoln, Nebraska, but Best says he's had conversations with Venus about holding a similar event in Northern Colorado -- either in Greeley or Fort Collins, where both Dyas and Venus lived. "So many listeners have been asking whether there would be something here, and so we will be holding a gathering -- and the station will tell people about it." As of this writing, however, details are pending.

Best adds that "if you look at the website, certain phrases come up again and again -- and the one I've seen the most often is 'gentle soul.' I think that would be a nice epitaph for Kyle. He was truly a gentle soul."

More from our Media archive: "Woody Paige's suicide-plan column best piece to date about Bronco Kenny McKinley's death."

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts