Jim Jelley - MC8
Sherman-James D. Jelley, Lt. Col. USAF (Retired), a member of America's “Greatest Generation,” answered his final bugle call while surrounded by his entire family on Wednesday, May 19, 2010 following complications from heart surgery.
Funeral services will be held at 1:30 PM Sunday, May 23 at Covenant Presbyterian Church. Rev. Neill Morgan will officiate of the church will officiate. Burial with military honors will be held at 12:30 PM Monday, May 24 in the Dallas/Ft. Worth National Cemetery
Jim, age 88, was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota on May 14, 1922, the first of three children to Lillian and Dewey Bonaparte Jelley. He attended the University of Minnesota and was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the US Army Air Corps at the outbreak of World War II. After completing his pilot training, he was assigned to heavy bombers and piloted 48 missions against the Japanese flying the B-24 Liberator. Flying out of Guadalcanal and other bases closer to Japan, he was shot down on his 22nd mission by a Japanese Zero over Rabaul Harbor, Papau New Guinea. After recovering from his wounds, he returned to pilot 26 more B-24 bombing missions. Following the war, he flew 51 missions in the Berlin Airlift. He completed nuclear weapons school at Sandia National Laboratories and flew the B-36 and B-47 strategic bombers in the USAF Strategic Air Command. He instructed air refueling in the B-47. While in the USAF, he also studied at the University of Omaha.
In 1966, he was selected as the first commander of the 360th Reconnaissance Squadron, known as “Antique Airlines,” flying the venerable DC-3 “Gooney Bird.” This squadron worked on a top-secret project, code named “Phyllis Ann,” that operated throughout Vietnam and was the forerunner of modern airborne intelligence gathering. In 1968, he retired from the Air Force while stationed at the Pentagon. His many decorations include the Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross with three Oak Leaf clusters, Airman's Medal with nine Oak Leaf clusters, Purple Heart, World War II Victory Medal, Vietnam Service Medal with a Bronze Service Star, the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal, and certificates inducting him into the “1000 Hour Club” for the B-36 and the B-47. He flew one of the B-36s in the movie Strategic Air Command starring James Stewart.
After retirement, Jim and his family moved to Sherman, where Jim served as an executive of several local companies for a number of years while raising registered Black Angus cattle and quarter horses. He loved his ranch and took pride in being a Texan. He served on the board of the Two Way Water Supply Corp. and was a member of the Grayson County Sheriff Posse until it disbanded. He was an active member of Trinity Presbyterian Church serving as Deacon, and later a member of Covenant Presbyterian Church. He was a 32nd degree Scottish Rite Freemason and member of Hella Shrine.
Jim married the love of his life, Winifred (Winnie) Davis in 1945 in West Palm Beach Florida. Their love affair lasted 65 years. To this union were born two children, Cynthia (Cindy) and Karl (Buster). His son, Karl, and granddaughter, Mallory, preceded him in death.
Jim is survived by his wife, Winnie; his daughter and her husband, Cindy and
James Allcorn of Paris; his daughter-in-law and her husband, Kerry and Mike Dreher of Keller, TX; his granddaughter and her husband Ann Marie and Andy Love of Dallas; his granddaughter and her husband, Audrey and Miles Mathieu of Tampa, FL; his granddaughter and her husband, Ashley and Joe Januszewski of Boston, MA; twelve great-grandchildren, nephew Alan Brown and a host of friends.
The family will receive friends from 4:00-5:00 PM Saturday at Waldo Funeral Home. The register book can be signed online at waldofuneralhome.com. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the Scottish Rite Hospital for Crippled Children in Dallas.
Some of you may know that Jim underwent open heart surgery to correct 3 blockages and replace the aortic valve and repair another valve last Wed. May 12 at Baylor Regional Med. Cntr. Plano, TX (the Heart Hospital).
The surgery was successful but recovery was tough the first 3 days, Sunday it looked as if he had turned the corner but he became acidotic.
A combination of renal and lung failure compounded problems. On Tues an exploratory surgery was performed to determine if there was any blockage or some issue that could be repaired surgically and speed his recovery.
Nothing was found.
We lost Jim approximately 1:15 p.m. CST May 19.
Arrangements are pending at Waldo Funeral Home in Sherman, TX but nothing has been finalized at this time. (See link below.)
(Son in law)
/Waldo Funeral Home/
619 North Travis Street
Sherman, TX 75090-4948
Jim's services have been finalized. Please refer to the link above.
You may view Jim's obituary and sign the guest book if you wish.
Please note that the family requests, if one so desires, in lieu of flowers, that a donation be made to the
Scottish Rite Hospital for Children
2222 Welborn Street
Dallas, TX 75219
Visitation- 4:00-5:30 PM Saturday, May 22, Waldo Funeral Home
Funeral- 1:30 PM Sunday, May 23, Covenant Presbyterian Church
Burial- 12:30 PM Monday, May 24, DFW National Cemetery