Jim dropped out of high school and joined the Marines one month after Pearl Harbor. He served as an anti-aircraft machine gunner in the Marine detachment aboard the light cruiser USS Denver, in the Japanese waters of the Southwest Pacific. The most noteworthy single occurrence was when the ship was torpedoed and very nearly sunk, dead in the water with the engine room blown out. Managing to stay afloat, an ocean-going tug towed the Denver back to Guadalcanal.

Jim served 45 months as a Marine, ending as an artillery buck sergeant preparing for the invasion of Japan. Hiroshima ended the war and our servicemen headed home. His service opened new opportunities for doing well in life, and he immediately worked to get the high school diploma he sorely lacked. Determined to get an education, on the GI Bill, Jim received his degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Virginia. A friend had introduced him to the love of his life, Bonna, and they entered his life in the petroleum industry.

Jim’s professional service involved working for several companies at their refining and marketing facilities. The most recent and rewarding assignment involved making numerous short duration inspection and consultation visits to each of the Mobil International marketing terminals and refineries. Retiring at 75, Jim enjoyed volunteering at the Lamb Center and at schools.

Jim and his late wife, Bonna, were blessed with 72 years together and a close-knit family of four married children, eight grandchildren and one very new great grandson. While geographically located along both coasts, the Mid West, Europe and Africa, the bonds are still strong. With Bonna’s invaluable guidance and encouragement, all are happily on track following his or her own North Star. Jim, Bonna, and their late chocolate lab, Lucy, came to The Woodlands in 2018. Now at 101+ years, Jim is fully comfortable with modern technology, following his sailing son via satellite, and gladly will show you pictures of his wonderful new great-grandson.