George “Wes” Weston Lyle

Lyle

Service

His celebration of life is going to be held at Dave’s Stagecoach Inn, 316 Westport Rd, Kansas City, MO 64111 on September 18, 2021 from 12 – 2.

 

George “Wes” Weston Lyle, 86, of Kansas City, MO, died unexpectedly on February 21, 2021, at his home in downtown Kansas City. 

Wes was born in Topeka, KS, on October 7, 1934, to Harold Vernon Lyle and Pamela Lorraine Lyle (Myers).  As a teenager, Wes shadowed his father, who was a photographer for the Topeka Daily Capital. Photography became Lyle’s calling, career, and legacy. 

After a tour of duty in the Navy, Wes joined the United Press wire service in 1956 in Texas as a photographer. He later transferred to the Kansas City UP office. He left UP for the Leavenworth Times and then joined the Kansas City dailies in 1965.  Lyle’s photos were routinely front-page news for 12 years. 

He left the KC Star and Times and freelanced before joining the Kansas City Business Journal. As a photojournalist, he helped expand the Journal into 40 new markets, spending 2-3 years at a time launching the paper in east and west coast cities.   

Wes Lyle was a sure-handed photographer with a seasoned eye. For 60 years, he used a camera to capture images that stop time. He bore witness to the dramas of the day, capturing the horrific and the mundane, the contrived and unexpected. 

His newspaper work stands as some of his best, say his peers.  Lyle was inducted into the Missouri Photojournalism Hall of Fame in 2007.  

Lyle was as artistic as he was proficient. His photographs are memorable because they showcase the emotions and moods he saw in his subjects. His work includes political figures such as Presidents Truman, Kennedy, Johnson, and celebrities such as Jack Benny, Duke Ellington, and The Beatles. 

His photography books, Kansas Impressions, 1972, and Missouri Faces and Places, 1977, feature the resilience and the beauty he found in his midwestern roots. 

His work is shown in local galleries, and skyline photographs taken from his high-rise are the subject of several Star features, A Life Behind the Lens, 2005 and View from the 11th Floor, 2010. 

Wes Lyle was a storyteller all his life. Along with hundreds of extraordinary images, his legacy is hundreds of uproarious stories that he told tirelessly to his wide circle of family and friends. 

He was an outsized personality who loved often, laughed freely, and cherished his time on earth.  He would be the first to say, all things considered, my life was fiercely lived, and I can go quietly down the rabbit hole.

His parents, Harold and Lorraine Lyle predeceased Wes.  

He is survived by his daughter, Robin Young of Nebraska; daughter, Jessica Fendt (William “Chad”) of Colorado; grandchildren: Kenneth Bordeaux, Mariah Young, Zachariah Mahoney, Lane Fendt; and great-grandchildren; brother Tim Lyle (Jan) of Kansas; nephew, Shane Lyle (Mary) of Kansas; niece, Amy Annis (Judd) of Kansas; and grandnephews and niece.

 

    

Condolences may be sent to the family at the Cremation Center of Kansas City in Shawnee Mission, KS, or online at cremationcenterkc.com.

Memorial Contributions

In memory of Wes, the family suggests donations to the charity of the donor’s choice.

7 Comments

  1. John Dvorak on September 1, 2021 at 12:42 pm

    Unfortunately, I will be out-of-state on the day of Wes’ event in Westport. I’m sure others will have plenty of good stories to tell. I have some, a few of which should probably not be told. I’ll sum up by saying that for a young reporter like me, working with Wes was a learning experience.

  2. Suzanne Lozano on April 11, 2021 at 2:09 pm

    Hello I just found out about my dear dear friend Wes. I me him years ago. I was the switchboard operator @ The Kansas City Star. I believe he lived in Platte City at that time, which was many years ago. We remain friends for years. In fact I went to a couple of his cook outs in mid-town. He was such a dear friend to me. We at times we would lose touch with one another and I would call him and we would see each & it would be like we never lost touch. I did keep in touch the last few years when he moved to The Cathedral Apartment . I would call him often to see if he needed anything. He always thanked me for keeping in touch. I spoke to him in January he seemed very weak. He meant a lot to me. He was such a good & loving person. I am really going to miss my friend a lot. My prayers & thoughts are with all the family. 816-210-4464

  3. John Dvorak on March 9, 2021 at 4:01 pm

    I hope you will spread the word about the Wes Lyle services. I worked him off and on for 20 years at the KC Star. Could tell a number of stories about him. John Dvorak

    • Jessica Fendt on August 24, 2021 at 9:36 pm

      Hi John,

      His celebration of life is going to be held at Dave’s Stagecoach Inn, 316 Westport Rd, Kansas City, MO 64111 on September 18, 2021 from 12 – 2. I hope you will be able to attend.

      Jessica

  4. SHEREE RIMANN on March 6, 2021 at 9:23 am

    I always felt fully recognized and truly cared about when talking to Wes…a giant among men!! I will miss him for many years to come!

  5. Mike Francis on March 5, 2021 at 5:04 pm

    I loved knowing you, Wes. You illuminated stories I wrote, and you were kind enough to shoot my wedding. You made it fun to come to work and you delighted us with yarns about Marvin, Don, and many others. Toasting your memory.

  6. Joan Anderson on March 4, 2021 at 1:23 am

    “The life of the dead is placed in the memory of the living.” Cicero

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