Las Animas School District was recently named a beneficiary in James (Jimmy) Wygle’s will. He passed away February of 2018 and left $50,000 to his alma mater, Bent County High School.

Born in Lamar, on Sept. 21, 1946 to Vera and Donald Wygle, he attended both Memorial and Columbian elementary schools and was a 1964 graduate of Bent County High School. He played football and was a member of the wrestling team. An average student, he excelled in the industrial arts programs.

Loretta, Wygle’s sister, called Elsie Goines, school superintendent, to inform her of her brother’s will and talked about growing up in Las Animas.

She informed Goines that the deceased was the youngest child and had two other siblings, Ronald and Donald. Donald graduated in 1957, Ronald in 1959 and Loretta in 1960. Their father worked at Ft Lyon and their mother was assistant City Clerk.

At one time the family resided on East Fifth Street. Wygle's sister said as an adult he built his house in Durango using skills first learned in Las Animas schools.

Wygle desired that his gift be used to assist students interested in vocational and industrial careers. The money may be used for student expenses, scholarships and other needs according to the terms of the will.

Goines said to her knowledge the district has never been a beneficiary of someone’s will and was pleased that Wygle was so fond of his school days in Las Animas that he would want to help local students further their education.

The superintendent and the school staff will be developing guidelines for the use of the $50,000 gift in 2019. The money will become available when Wygle’s property is sold and the estate settled.