Former longtime Alaska resident James Fleming Sr., 81, passed away Friday, April 18, in Olympia, WA., after a long battle with a respiratory illness.
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Jim was born in Brooklyn, NY, on April 8, 1933, to John and Lilly Fleming nee Hopkins. He spent the next 50 years of his life in service to the public, working for the US Air Force for 20 years and the US Postal Service for 30 years. He joined the US Air Force at age 18, and enjoyed a 20 year career that took him to England, New York, Tennessee, California and his beloved Alaska, where he served one tour at Lad Air Force Base in Fairbanks and another at Elmendorf AFB in Anchorage. He retired in 1971 and promptly drove from Northern California back to Anchorage to make his home.
After retiring from the Air Force in 1971, he took a job with the Us Postal Service in Anchorage, working as a Postal Clerk; Area Maintenance Technician and boiler inspector. In 1987 he was transferred to Portland Or., where he worked as a Maintenance Supervisor and Manager until his retirement in 2001, completing another 30-year career in public service.
After retirement from the Postal Service, Jim and his wife Nancy, bought 5 acres in Yelm, WA. Together, they built a home that Nancy designed. They lived in that home until his death on April 18, 2014.
He raised two families in his lifetime, and also gave his time to support the student exchange program hosting students from around the world in his home.
He loved and provided for his family and was loved by all who knew him. He was a great Husband, Father, Grandfather and friend. He will be deeply missed.
Jim is leaves behind his wife of 37 years, Nancy Fleming, of Yelm WA; his children, Kathy Moessmer, of Billings Mt; Michael Fleming, James Fleming Jr., Bill Fleming of Anchorage, Alaska; Betty Tunnel of Wasilla, Alaska; and Janet Gunter of Vancouver, WA. He leaves behind 12 grandchildren, in Alaska, Washington, and Texas and 7 great grand children in Alaska and Washington.
Jim's ashes will be interred with full military honors, in the National cemetery in Willamette Or., on May 27th, and also spread onto Resurrection Bay in Seward Alaska, on June 8th of 2014. His friends and family will hold celebrations of life in Portland, Or., in May and in Anchorage, Alaska in June.
Published in Alaska Dispatch News from June 8 to June 9, 2014