Sunset Memorial Park & Funeral Home

1701 Austin Highway, San Antonio, TX


James Mitchel Denard Jr.

August 10, 1934May 14, 2019

Lt. Col. (Ret) JAMES Mitchel Denard, Jr. (Jamie D.) was born on August 10, 1934, in Jackson County, Texas, to James Mitchell and Ruth Koop Denard. Jamie died at home on May 14, 2019. After graduating from Texas A&M, Jamie joined the Air Force and upon completing a two year combat training program as an F-104 fighter pilot, he was sent to Itazuke, Japan, where he met his future wife, Reiko Matsuyama (Bonnie). After his squadron was recalled to the United States during the Cuban missile crisis, he returned to Asia during the Vietnam War and flew 149 missions, once coming close to losing his wife when his jet engines malfunctioned. During his 24 years as a fighter pilot, Jamie was stationed at many places on various assignments. One of the most memorable was when he was stationed in Canada in 1968 when he and Bonnie adopted their infant son, Marc Chance. Jamie and Bonnie were long time members of Christ Lutheran Church in Alamo Heights. Jamie was preceded in death by his parents and his sisters, June Lane and Nancy McElroy. He is survived by his wife, Bonnie; son, Marc; grandson, Caleb Chance; sisters, Dorothy McCain (Johnny), Mary McFeron Putty, Sue Hilliard (Bohn), and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins. Special recognition and thanks to his longtime assistant and caregiver, Nori Figuroa, and to Bobby Stobb and many others from Christ Lutheran Church who ministered to him and Bonnie for many years of his life. A graveside service will be held at Ft. Sam Houston National Cemetery on Friday, May 31, 2019 at 10:30 am, Officiated by his good friend Chaplain Howard Stendahl. In lieu of flowers, those who wish may make a contribution to Christ Lutheran Church (6720 Broadway, SAT 78209) or to the charity of their choice.


  • Committal Service Friday, May 31, 2019


James Mitchel Denard Jr.

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Keith Davey

November 10, 2019

Jamie and I were at Itazuke Japan together and both lived at the Zash house. We bought a big Mercedes as an investment and Lost our shirts. We were also at George AFB together flying the F104. He was a special guy and will be greatly missed. Regards to Bonnie....

Dorothy McCain

May 17, 2019

Jamie received numerous medals for his service in the Air Force, including, 2 meritorious service medals, the distinguished flying cross, a military merit medal, and an air medal. He loved his time in the US Air Force as a fighter pilot, and we have lots of memories of him flying into San Antonio with the F 104 whistling.