James "Jim" Cutbirth

August 4, 1946November 14, 2021
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James “Jim” Wilbert Cutbirth was born August 4, 1946 in Monahans, TX and went to be with his Heavenly Father on November 14, 2021, in Abilene, TX.

A Funeral Service for Jim will be on Friday, November 19, 2021 at 3:00 pm at Elliott-Hamil Funeral Home, Chapel of Faith, 5701 Hwy 277 S in Abilene. The family will receive friends on Friday, from 1:00 pm to until service time.

Jim graduated High School in Monahans, Texas. He attended Abilene Christian College before transferring to the University of Texas at Austin to complete his Bachelor’s degree in Aerospace Engineering in 1969. As a young engineer, Jim was employed with Pratt and Whitney Aircraft in West Palm Beach, FL where he helped design NASA’s Space Shuttle’s rocket engines from 1969 until 1971. He went back to school in 1971 to complete his master’s degree in Aerospace Engineering from UT-Austin, finishing in 1973.

After completing his master’s degree, he moved to Renton, WA to work for Boeing from 1974 to 1979 in aircraft design. During his tenure at Boeing, he led a team who identified the potentially catastrophic event of ice buildup on airliner wings and developed the preventative technology which is still in use today. After this, Jim took a break from engineering, going back home to help his father run the family Ford dealership in Monahans, TX. In 1983, he moved the family to Edmond, Oklahoma, where he co-founded the Oklahoma Christian University’s Engineering program and served as a professor until 2011. During this time, he completed his Doctorate in Mechanical Engineering from Oklahoma State University in 1991. Of all his professions, Jim enjoyed teaching and mentoring his students the most.

The primary focus of Jim’s life was to serve God, love his family, and help others. Jim was a lifelong member of the Churches of Christ. During his time in Edmond, he served as an Elder at the Memorial Road Church of Christ. In Abilene, TX, he was a member at Oldham Lane Church of Christ and an active member in the Taylor County Jail ministry and served as an assistant chaplain for the State of Texas. He loved to preach God’s Word and had served as a part-time pulpit minister in Van Horn and Grandfalls, TX, as well as rural congregations around the Austin area.

Jim loved to tinker on old cars. He and his father restored a 1926 Model T Roadster in which he loved to take his grandchildren riding. He also was given a new 1966 Ford Mustang from his father’s dealership and maintained ownership throughout his life except when on loan to his children and grandchildren. He took great joy in restoring it multiple times, using the opportunity to bond and teach younger generations. Jim married Denise McMullen on May 30, 1968, while they both were students at UT. They were blessed with four children: Kathy, Michael, Edward and Daniel. One of the great joys of Jim’s life was his 13 grandchildren. He could be found boating, camping, attending sports games and playing ball with them. He was known as the grandpa who could fix anything that was broken from arms on dolls to toy trucks that were missing wheels.

Jim is preceded in death by his parents, Wilbert and Mary Cutbirth. He is survived by his wife, Denise Cutbirth of Abilene, TX. Children Kathryn and Son-in-Law Jason Ray of Woodward, OK, Michael Cutbirth and fiancé Rebecca Davis of Rockledge, FL; Edward Cutbirth and his wife Ashley of Abilene, TX; and Daniel Cutbirth and his wife Carrie of Katy, TX. His 13 grandchildren include: Jacquelyn and husband Quentin Sims, James “JP” Ray, Jaelynn Ray, Jacob Cutbirth, Joshua Cutbirth, Kaden Cutbirth, Karlee Cutbirth, Liam Dalton, Paisley Dalton, Reese Cutbirth, Adelie Cutbirth, Caleb Cutbirth, and Caroline Cutbirth. He is also survived by his sister, Frances and husband Michael Hardaway of Denver City, Texas.


  • Jacon Cutbirth, Honorary Pallbearer
  • Joshua Cutbirth, Honorary Pallbearer
  • JP Ray, Honorary Pallbearer
  • Kaden Cutbirth, Honorary Pallbearer
  • Liam Dalton, Honorary Pallbearer
  • Quentin Sims, Honorary Pallbearer
  • Caleb Cutbirth, Honorary Pallbearer


  • Visitation

    Friday, November 19, 2021

  • Funeral Service

    Friday, November 19, 2021


James "Jim" Cutbirth

have a memory or condolence to add?

Linda, Sam Armstrong

November 28, 2021

Sam and I knew James in high school in Monahans. Sam went to church with James at the church of Christ and their daddy’s were good friends. I was younger than them but James was always friendly to me and I enjoyed talking to him.
The last time we saw James and Denise was at the 50 year reunion for monahans high school class of 65 ( my class). We were proud of all he had done in life and especially his efforts for the church.
We wondered what caused his death?

Dave Rogers

November 24, 2021

James & I grew up as across the street neighbors on Gary St in Monahans,Texas
We became good friends back in the 7 th grade & stayed that way till we left for college. He was a very Faithful & good friend. Lots of precious memories


November 20, 2021

Great memories you left behind.
Revelation 21:4

Roger Rockhold

November 19, 2021

We have you in our thoughts and prayers. So sorry for your loss.

Roger and Ann Rockhold

sarah hancock

November 18, 2021

knew the cutbirth family in monahans and all were extremely faithful to the Lord. blessings for the memories and know our prayers are for each of you. harold/sarah hancock, burnet tex

Selena Overholt

November 17, 2021

Sending lots of love to all of James’s family. He definitely leaves behind a wonderful legacy. Loved seeing all the pictures the family has shared. He lived an amazing life with lots of family by his side. I have so many memories of him & Denise at all the family reunions. He always made time to ask about my life and my plans. I remember his smile the most. He will be missed. God bless🙏

Selena Overholt (Reagan)

November 17, 2021

We are thinking & praying for all of uncle James’s family. He was such a wonderful person and leaves behind an amazing legacy with his family. One of my favorite memories of Uncle James was seeing him and Denise at all the family reunions. He always wanted to know what was going on in my life and what my plans were. He cared about about everyone. I remember his smile the most. He will be missed. I cried hearing that he passed. He was one of the the good ones!!!

Sherry Herrington

November 17, 2021

I will always treasure our times together in Monahans. He would take us younger cousins to the sandhills & just driving around town. He loved playing tricks on us. Thank you for such great memories.


What a sweet baby.


What a sweet baby.


James and Sister Francis with a puppy in Monahans. Already enjoying dogs and cars.


James with Frisky, look at that ornery face.


James and Francis, age 4 and 7.


James in early school ages


and in junior high,


He still loved Dogs and Cars.


High School Graduate from Monahans, Tx


Met his beautiful "red" head co-ed at University of Texas, and Married 1968