MARTINEZ, Ga. - Mr. James Rhea Lyle, beloved husband of Avis Ann Rollins, passed away on Sunday, December 23, 2007, after a courageous battle with cancer.
In addition to his wife, he is survived by his mother, Betty Louise Lyle of Aiken; son, Paul R. Lyle and grandson, Byron R. Lyle of Martinez; brothers, Edward Lyle of Aiken, and Robert Coy (Cheryl) Lyle of North Augusta; and many special friends.
Funeral services were held Thursday, December 27, 2007, at 3 p.m. in the Belair Road Chapel of Platt's Funeral Home with Gene Sawyer, Ted Stephens, and Gerald Stephens, Elders of North Augusta Bible Chapel, presiding. Interment was at Westover Memorial Park.
Mr. Lyle, son of the late G. C. Lyle, was born in Madison, Tenn., and raised in Aiken. He was a graduate of Aiken High School and attended the University of South Carolina Aiken and Phillips College, graduating with a degree in accounting. Mr. Lyle had a penchant for business and showed his entrepreneurial spirit at an early age by becoming the local paper delivery boy at 7 years of age. One of his earliest jobs, Manager at Southern Eye Clinic, laid the groundwork for two of his successes in life - introduction to his beloved wife, Avis Ann, and introduction to the Richmond County Medical Society where he was hired to serve as its Executive Secretary and held that position for nearly 30 years. From this, Mr. Lyle was able to highlight his affinity for business by starting his own successful consulting firm, Healthcare Consultants of America. As CEO of HCCA, Mr. Lyle became a highly sought after consultant and public speaker, having delivered well over 1000 workshops and seminars across North America on topics such as medical billing, coding, and practice management throughout his career. Mr. Lyle also authored many practice management guides and numerous articles for magazines and medical society bulletins. He was recognized as a medial coding expert and was known to have read the CPT code book on a daily basis. To many, he was a walking encyclopedia of medical practice management. Through HCCA, he aligned himself with several associations in the medical community, becoming Executive Director of the Georgia Association of Pathologist, Georgia Gastroenterological and Endoscopic Society, Georgia-South Carolina Society of Nephrology, Alabama Association of Pathologists, Louisiana Pathology Society, RCMS Project Access, Inc., Georgia Colon Cancer Coalition, and Mississippi Association of Pathologists. He also founded Physician Billing Services in Augusta, providing billing services to doctors throughout the state. Both companies were eventually sold to MAG Mutual Healthcare Solutions in Atlanta, making way for Mr. Lyle to begin yet another venture by founding The Bureau of Medical Economics, an association management company. As CEO of the Medical Bureau, Mr. Lyle concentrated his efforts on continuing to serve as Executive Director of various medical organizations, and through RCMS Project Access, had a determination to assist the uninsured in our community by working to make healthcare available to these citizens. He was a Charter and Life Member of the National Association of Health Care Consultants, a member of the American Association of Medical Society Executives and the Georgia Society of Association Executives, and a Life Member of the National Society of Certified Healthcare Business Consultants.
Mr. Lyle was a very active member of the community, serving as a little league coach, on the Community Development Council for St. Joseph Hospital, and on the Thomson-McDuffie Board of Tourism. He was also a graduate of Leadership McDuffie. Mr. Lyle had a great devotion to Rotary International and its many programs. He joined the Martinez-Evans Rotary Club in 1975 and served as its President from 1979 until 1980. He also served a term as Secretary and on the Board of Directors. In 1992, Mr. Lyle volunteered to go to Russia to assist the new country with establishment of private practice medicine after the fall of the USSR. The trip was sponsored by Rotary International and the new Russian government. Mr. Lyle met often with the Mayor of Moscow, Mr. Yuri Luzhkow, and the Russian Minister of Health in the Kremlin, formatting better ways to deliver quality healthcare. Mr. Lyle lectured several times at the Moscow Medical Academy (a 3,000-bed hospital) as well as one-on-one contacts with the physicians. In 1995, Mr. Lyle participated in a Rotary Peace Forum in Senegal, West Africa, where he helped provide equipment and expertise to hospitals in need. Also in 1995, Mr. Lyle was elected Governor of Rotary International District 6910 in Georgia at its annual convention in Nice, France. Mr. Lyle served as District Governor from 1995-1996. During his term he helped organize a Rotary Peace Forum between Athens, Greece, and Athens, Ga., during the 1996 Olympics. As District Governor, Mr. Lyle allocated funds to help establish a Rotary District Office that has served all Rotary Foundations. He was also a Will Watt Fellow and has a named scholarship fund to the Georgia Rotary Student Program. My Lyle served as an Endowment Trustee for the GRSP for nearly 10 years.
An avid pilot for nearly 40 years, Mr. Lyle joined the U.S.A.F. Civil Air Patrol as a Cadet in 1963 and remained a member until his death. During his career he obtained the rank of Captain and served his squadron as its Finance Officer. In addition, he was a fully qualified Search & Rescue Pilot in the State of Georgia. In 2000, Mr. Lyle purchased the Fixed Base Operation (FBO) at the Thomson-McDuffie Regional Airport and oversaw many improvements at the airport, including installation of an Instrument Landing System (ILS), ramp and runway improvements, a new terminal building, and a fire station. Mr. Lyle sold the FBO in 2005. Mr. Lyle has owned and flown more than 40 different aircrafts of all types. He also holds the USA and World Speed Record for Single Engine Aircraft "Speed" over a recognized course.
Mr. Lyle was awarded many distinctions throughout his life, being named a Jaycees Outstanding Young Man in America, listed in Who's Who of the South and Southeast. He also received the Distinguished Service Award from the Richmond County Medical Society in 2002 and received the Non-Physician of the Year, Distinguished Service Award by the Medical Association of Georgia in 2004.
Mr. Lyle was a son, husband, father, brother, grandfather, and special friend. He touched many people throughout his life and had an impact on everyone he met. He was a very generous and caring individual, not only with his family, but also his friends and employees. He has left a legacy of love and will be missed by all who knew him.
Pallbearers were Terry Cook, MD, Bill Brooks, MD, Butch "Alton" Garrison, MD, Joe Bailey, MD, J. David Roper, Kyle Graham, and Tom Harley. Honorary Pallbearers were members of the Richmond County Medical Society and Members of the Martinez-Evans Rotary Club.
If so desired, memorials may be made to the North Augusta Bible Chapel, PO Box 6351, North Augusta, South Carolina, 29841, the CSRA Humane Society, 425 Wood Street, Augusta, Georgia, 30904, or to Rotary International, 14280 Collections Drive, Chicago, IL., 60693.
Platt's Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.