James Neal Hendon Sr.
April 27, 1927 – April 2, 2021
James Neal "Jim" Hendon, third son of Sanford and Flora Hendon, was born on April 27th, 1927 and was 93 years old when he passed away on Good Friday, April 2nd, 2021. He grew up alongside six siblings in Arley, Alabama: Lecil, Ray, James, and triplets Juanita, O’Lita, and LaGeita. When Jim turned 18, he enlisted in the Navy in May 1945. He was serving aboard the gunboat PGM 9, in Okinawa, when Japan surrendered on August 15th, 1945. Jim was released from duty on July 15th, 1946, and went to 3 years of college on the GI Bill, before joining the U.S. Air Force in November 1950. He flew with the 318th Fighter Interceptor Squadron, piloting the F-89 Scorpion, the first all weather interceptor jet aircraft. Jim spent one and a half years in Greenland at Thule Air Base before returning to the U.S. and being discharged from Presque Isle, Maine in 1954. Jim said he was such a “Hotshot Pilot” that they kept him in Greenland to cool him down! He stayed in the USAF Reserves for another 10 years. After being discharged from the Air Force, he joined the Civil Aeronautics Authority in 1955 as an Air Traffic Control Specialist. Jim had a successful career of 30 years with the Federal Aviation Administration, with most of it spent as Air Traffic Control Supervisor. During his many years at the ATC Center in Longmont, Colorado, he enjoyed endless days of golfing, hiking, skiing and hunting. In his spare time, he attended Ames College in Greeley, where he obtained his Real Estate Brokers License and went on to manage his own real estate agency for 20 years. However, the greatest moment of his life was when he was 20 years old, having returned home, he walked into the Baptist Church in Curry, Alabama. There he met Helen Ponder, aged 17. They were inseparable since that day, and went on to have a loving marriage of 70 years. This wonderful marriage would produce two beloved sons, James Neal Hendon Jr. and Richard Philip Hendon. He is survived by his wife of 70 years, Helen Hendon; son, James Neal Hendon Jr.; son and daughter-in-law, Richard Philip and Kelly Hendon; and 2 granddaughters: Amanda and Cassandra Hendon; and sister, O’Lita Chandler along with many other loving family members and friends.
No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.
James Neal Hendon Sr.
April 5, 2021
I miss the golf we played before the reunion every year. It always amazed me how Uncle Jimmy would play right handed part of the time and left handed part of the time.
The work he did on our family history really helps me understand how far back our history can be traced.
Prayers for all.
April 4, 2021
I am so sorry to hear of Jim's death. I will certainly miss his emails and phone calls. He had so many stories of his and my father's youth; he always made me laugh when retelling them.
Much love to you all,