Cover photo for James Pycha's Obituary
James Pycha Profile Photo
1944 Jim 2024

James Pycha

December 31, 1944 — April 6, 2024

Kaua'i, Hawai'i - James Gary Pycha "Jim", of Princeville, went on to his permanent Heavenly home on April 6, 2024, at the age of 79. He was born on December 31, 1944, in Hollywood, California to the late Joseph James and Mildred Louise Winchell Pycha. He lost his long battle with cancer and passed away in his 2nd home in Rochester, Minnesota. He was a Mayo Clinic patient.

Jim grew up in southern California. He went to Cal State University, Long Beach where he attained a bachelor's degree in Philosophy.

In 1969, on the way to graduate school in New York City, Jim decided to first stop in Hawai'i to surf. He began his journey in Lahaina, Maui meeting his best friend (later to be his best man) and then on to Kaua'i in search of "the wave". He worked as a night auditor at the iconic Hanalei Plantation Hotel so he could surf during the day. He met a local girl and got married in July of 1973. Jim soon trained as a journeyman mechanic while Princeville Resort, formerly a plantation sugarcane/cattle ranch, was being developed in 1973. He used his newly acquired mechanic skills to be head mechanic for two construction companies, later opening his own auto repair shop in his garage on Keneke St. across from the old Kilauea Theater. He obtained his real estate license in the early 80's and opened the first franchise for RE/MAX International on Kauai now known as RE/MAX Kaua'i.

Jim was in the Coast Guard Reserve for 30 years and retired as Lt. Commander. His passion: providing for his family, talking to others about his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and selling real estate. One of his favorite experiences was taking his family on a long road trip in a brand new VW Westfalia Camper van throughout Europe in 1993, visiting 11 countries.

Survivors include Cyrila L. Tobalado Cole, 74 years old from Anahola, Jim's loving wife of a little over fifty and one half years; son, Matthew James Pycha, 49 years old and daughter, Angela Lynn Pycha, 47 years old. Both children were raised in Kilauea where they still both live. Jim has one sibling, sister Janet Lynn Pycha Stirling, 74 years old, of Costa Mesa, CA.

There will be a grave side burial service with military honors at Kauai Memorial Gardens on Saturday, April 27, 2024 at 10:00 AM. Anyone is welcome to attend.

Jim's memorial service will be at Anahola Baptist Church, on Saturday May 4th at 2:30 pm. Live streaming will be available on social media.

Ranfranz and Vine Funeral Home is honored to be serving the Pycha family. You may share your condolences and memories/pictures at

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of James Pycha, please visit our flower store.


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