James Lyn Pazdral

April 7, 1993March 18, 2021

James Lyn Pazdral was born April 7, 1993 at Seton Hospital in Austin. He died at home in El Paso, Texas March 18, 2021. At his death he was a first lieutenant on active duty with the 167th Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division at Fort Bliss, Texas.

He was a loving brother and son. He also deeply loved his country with a mixture of old fashioned and modern patriotism. He graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point in May 2017 and served in the U.S. Army until his death in March 2021.

He is survived by his mother, Lynn, his father, George Howard, and his brother, George Anthony, along with aunt Julie Pazdral Fuller and Jerry Fuller of Frisco, Texas, cousin Suzanne Atcheson and her children Avery and Wyatt of Lubbock, Texas; aunt Susan Huss Foertsch and Steve of Roswell, Georgia and their children, Kendall and Evan; and aunt Janet Huss of Kirkwood, Missouri.

From a young age, James was his own man.

He attended Westlake Hills Presbyterian preschool, the Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd for pre-K and kindergarten, Trinity Episcopal School of Austin for elementary and middle school, and Westlake High School, graduating in 2012.

He completed a year at Greystone Military Preparatory Academy at Schreiner University in Kerrville, preparatory to gaining admission to attend the United States Military Academy at West Point from 2013 through 2017.

He was compassionate and loving to animals. He volunteered extensively at an animal shelter while stationed in Fort Benning, Georgia.

He was a chess player and an amateur photographer. He was always at home wielding a chain saw and he enjoyed home mechanics on his pickup truck.

The public and community memorial service with military honors for James's life will be Wednesday, April 7, 2021 at 2:00 PM at Riverbend Church in the Home for Hope sanctuary.

James's remains will be placed at the columbarium in progress at Westlake Hills Presbyterian Church in Austin, Texas and with private burial at the Oaklawn Cemetery in Somerville, Texas.

In lieu of flowers, please make a donation in memory of James, by donating in his name to Stop Soldier Suicide, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, the Humane Society of the United States, or another charity of your choice.


  • Private Family Memorial

    Wednesday, April 7, 2021


  • Memorial Service

    Wednesday, April 7, 2021



James Lyn Pazdral

have a memory or condolence to add?

Jess Randol

April 11, 2021

I was in the class beneath Paz at West Point and shared two years with him in Company D4. He stayed at West Point the year following his graduation and I was lucky enough to spend some time with him during that period as well. I would frequently run into him at the Firstie or find myself camping with him, or even, in one case, at his house following my class' 100th night celebration. We weren't the closest of friend but I enjoyed every second I spent with him. I'll always value his generosity, kindness, and more than anything, his almost magical ability to always make me smile. He brought a lot of joy to many peoples lives and I am very lucky to have known him.

Rest in peace James

David Holody

April 8, 2021

James will always be one of the best outdoorsman I know. He was equally at home paddling a Canoe in the Boundary Waters, Burro racing at Philmont or crawling through a cave at Enchanted Rock. His laugh was infectious. And seeing his animated expressions made you smile. Thank you for being my friend. You will always be in my heart and remain forever young.

Jake Ashcraft

April 7, 2021

Me and James go back to Greystone where he lived in the next suite over. We were in the same math classes there and we remained close friends throughout our time at West Point.

James loved adventures and we spent our weekends of our Firstie year backpacking through the Appalachian Trail in New York. We would leave as fast as we could on Friday or Saturday to find a hiking shelter to make camp. We would set up camp, collecting firewood as a combination of Waylon Jennings, Willie, and Johnny Cash played in the background. We'd talk about the time James saw Trigger in person, and how he went to a Willie Nelson concert. At night, James would set his camera out for long exposure pictures to capture the stars, and we'd cook dinner on the fire talking about places we wanted to explore next.

One of my favorite memories was heading up to an overnight trip in early winter. We weren't expecting any major weather, and I set up my hammock and tarp about 3 feet away from James' hooch which consisted of a light poncho and 550 chord. After spending the evening listening to the old country legends, we crashed for the night. About 6 inches of snow came down in the night, sliding directly off my tarp onto his hooch. I woke up in the morning and James was completely buried in the snow, not even visible . After making sure he was okay, we both laughed at our circumstances and cursed our luck and bad decision-making that led to us to this point. Not to be thrown off by a little bad weather, James climbed out of his sleeping bag, grabbed his camera, and took off to take pictures of the new scenery.

James and I went camping frequently after that and I'll miss heading out to the wilderness, setting up camp at an old lean-to, and exchanging stories as old friends do.

Rest in Peace, James. You are greatly missed.

Cathy Clayton

April 6, 2021

Ah, this made us so so sad. We knew James and his family through Troop 70, BSA. We watched and supported James through gawky years and joined in the celebration of his acceptance to USMA. He was determined and goal-oriented. The Clayton family shares the sorrow and anguish of Lynn, George, and GA. We love you.

Nancy Porter

April 5, 2021

I had the privilege of being in D4 with James for three years at West Point. Our last names were next to each other in the Alphabet, so we were placed next to each other at almost every major event. He kept me laughing through every dreadful rehearsal and I’ll never forget the moment we realized that we were both Wu Tang Clan fans. He was the first person I hugged on Branch Night, and again after we threw our hats in the air at Graduation. He was the next door neighbor that invited me to play Nintendo 64, and who inhaled helium with me and made funny voices. James was the guy that made dull days brighter for everyone and I don’t think he realized that. I will miss him forever and will endlessly be grateful for the friendship he gave to me.

Nikki Jimenez

April 5, 2021

Paz and I were Icemen in company I-3 during plebe year at West Point, and I’ll always remember his unfailing support of multiple spirit missions and company mandatory fun events. He was somehow quiet and reserved while also being at the heart of all the fun every time there were shenanigans afoot. His polar bear hat towered above the rest of ours! Even after plebe year when we all scrambled to other companies, he would always stop to say hello and catch up while walking down the hallway, lifting at Arvin, crossing central area, or hanging out at the firstie. He was just that kind of guy, didn’t matter how long it had been since you talked last, he always had time for other people. You’ll be missed Paz, you were one of the best. Go Icemen and Rest In Peace.

Paul Ryu

April 5, 2021

I knew James as "Paz" and learning of this news instantly made me feel tremendous grief. With the USMA Class of 2017, I landed in G-4 my plebe year and was assigned as a roommate to two people that I hold very dear to my heart - and one of them, Ed, was from a greatly revered school called Greystone Prep. Through Ed, I had the utmost privilege of being introduced to the Greystone circle and thus met James shortly after BEAST ended. This was the beginning of my many encounters with Paz throughout plebe, yuk, and cow year. Unfortunately, I did not have the honor and privilege of graduating with him. I could instantly tell that Paz was older than me because of his calm approach to problems and how he handled all the stress that the Academy would put on our shoulders. Whenever we walked past each other, whether it was on the way to class, getting food at the mess hall, or while shamelessly using all of our hard-earned stipend money on Ben & Jerry's ice cream, he would always greet me with the cheesiest smile, words of encouragement, and the funniest jokes. This all made him an incredibly important person to me because I always felt crushed under the pressures of school and felt like I could never keep up with my classmates - and seeing him could be the smallest boost that I needed to get through the day. He had the powerful personality that most of us try to attain as adults but tend to never reach, which was that he was always quick to listen and slow to talk. We talked about our lives and learned about each other's histories, but he would be the one to always end up truly listening when we had complaints. He never let you feel alone when you were struggling. I regret not staying in touch with Paz after my departure from the academy because he did not only help me at school - his infectious personality still has lasting effects on my life as I deal with my everyday familial and professional issues with lessons I learned from him. I love you man and I miss you so much.

Brandon Carletti-Silva

April 5, 2021

James -- who I called Paz-- made combatives class at the Academy a lot more fun than it probably should have been. We challenged one another to get better, but never took ourselves so seriously that we lost the joy of the journey. I remember long after combatives was over, I asked Paz if he wanted to "go roll" for old time's sake. We laughed and settled for a beer at the Firstie.

Vaden Williams

April 5, 2021

I need not to explain the heart to heart relationship James and I shared. We were brothers from the moment we met. We got in trouble together, shared tears together, grew together, and ended every conversation with a heartfelt “I love you, brother.” When my mother passed and even when I met hard times recently he was the true constant I had from the good times I had at West Point and in the Army generally. I hope to say I love you again in person someday. Until then, I got you down here.

Love you, brother.

WJ Moretz

April 5, 2021

Every time I saw James “Paz” Pazdral I could never walk away without a smile. His cautious optimism was infectious to everyone around him and it made more than a few tough classes at the academy seem a little less tough. His towering presence will be missed and a glass will always be raised in his honor and memory.