OBITUARY

James Roger Douglass

March 4, 1928February 23, 2018
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JAMES ROGER DOUGLASS

James Roger Douglass passed away on February 23, 2018 surrounded by his daughter and granddaughter.

Born and raised in Belle, West Virginia, James earned his BA at West Virginia Institute of Technology and studied for his Masters Degree at Indiana University in Business and Music.

Jim had a long career as an airline pilot starting with his cadet training in the Air Force to being hired as a commercial airline pilot with Pan American World Airways. While furloughed from Pan Am, he was recommended for a job with Bendix Aviation that led to him working with NASA on the space programs, most notably the Friendship 7 mission piloted by John Glenn. Jim served as the simulation and check pilot for all the tracking stations worldwide that would communicate with and monitor Glenn’s groundbreaking flight. Jim was called back to work with Pan Am where he continued to fly for Pan Am until the airline ceased operations. He was invited by United Airlines to join their ranks as a flight engineer, which he did until his final retirement in 1998.

Jim met Margaret Elizabeth Evans (Betty), the love of his life in Columbus Ohio during a stop on a transport mission with the Air Force. They married and began a sixty-year journey of enduring love until Betty’s death in March of 2016. They moved to Lake Mohawk in 1958 and were members of the community.

Jim was an avid golfer and a member of the Lake Mohawk Golf Club for over 50 years. He loved animals, painting and vacationing in Hilton Head Island.

Jim was a polite, soft-spoken gentleman but underneath that cool calm exterior was the quickest wit and a killer talent for wordplay, an irresistible gift for fun, a huge heart and generosity of spirit as big as the world he travelled. He loved music and was always singing or whistling his repertoire of opera, popular ballads, big band songs, and hymns. He played banjo, ukulele and trumpet.

His greatest love was family. He always had time, gifts, games and wisdom for his daughter and his granddaughter during their childhoods and beyond. As well as remaining a dutiful and loving husband, son, brother and uncle throughout his life.

Jim is survived by his daughter, Lee and granddaughter, Cayenne and his favorite niece, Deanna Douglass as well as his nieces, Lynne Douglass and Barbara Ellis and nephew, William Greg Douglass. He was predeceased by his loving wife, Betty, his sister, Georgia Wynns and his two older brothers, Leon and Jack and nephew, Ronald Douglass.

It was Betty’s request that no service be held immediately following her death, but that her family wait to honor her life at the time of her husband’s memorial and for the service to be a celebration of both their lives. The funeral for James R Douglass and life celebration for Betty and Jim will take place at Goble Funeral Home on Thursday, March 1, 2018. The viewing will begin at 11 am and the service will start promptly at 12 o’clock noon. In lieu of flowers donations can be made to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital in the Douglass family name.

MARGARET ELIZABETH DOUGLASS

Margaret Elizabeth Douglass (Betty) was smart, funny, feisty, caring, thoughtful and full of class. She was a fashion beacon, always impeccably dressed and poised. She grew up in Columbus, Ohio and attended Ohio State University making her a huge Buckeye fan! After college, she worked for a major jewelry store and volunteered as a Grey Lady with the Red Cross. In 1956 she met a young Air Force pilot, Jim Douglass, at the Officers Club in Columbus. Six weeks later they were married. When Jim was hired as a commercial airline pilot with Pan Am, they moved to the East Coast, settling in Edison, New Jersey while they searched for where they wanted to spend their lives. They found that place in Sparta. Betty and Jim lived at Lake Mohawk for 58 years.

Betty was the matriarch of the family and things had to be done her way, but let's face it, her way was usually best. She was quick-witted with a wicked sense of humor and could cut you off at the knees with a zinger. She was curious, well read and never lost her passion for education. Her love of Southern writers led to her developing a soft spot for the South. She made pilgrimages to Hilton Head, South Carolina disguised as vacations multiple times a year and came to embody through osmosis that southern charm. She kept abreast with current events in politics domestically, globally and locally. Betty loved animals, decorating, sewing, shopping and was always up for a good verbal joust.

Betty felt that life was to be enjoyed and loved having a good time! As the wife of an airline pilot, she traveled with her husband to Honolulu, Rome, Paris, London, Madrid, Beirut, and Istanbul in addition to trips to Las Vegas with friends and to various cities in the US for the annual Air Force Reunions.

Betty and Jim were among some of the first year round residents of Lake Mohawk and were active members of the community. Betty participated and hosted destination dinners, clambakes, and bridge club gatherings. She was a long time supporter of St Jude's Children Hospital and The Wounded Warriors Project.

It was her request that no service be held immediately following her death, but that her family wait to honor her life at the time of her husband’s memorial and for the service to be a celebration of both their lives. The funeral for James R Douglass and life celebration for Betty and Jim will take place at Goble Funeral Home on Thursday, March 1, 2018. The viewing will begin at 11am and the service will start promptly at 12 o’clock noon. In lieu of flowers donations can be made to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital in the Douglass family name.

Services

  • Visitation Thursday, March 1, 2018
  • Life Celebration of Betty and Jim Thursday, March 1, 2018
REMEMBERING

James Roger Douglass

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FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY

Jim and his first girlfriend, Sally

FROM THE FAMILY

Jack and Leon (Jim's older brother's on the left) and a next door neighbor)

FROM THE FAMILY

Jim and his dad! Started wearing a captain hat early!

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY

Jim's Home Ec class

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY

Jim with his older sister, Georgia