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Jim Fletcher

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On July 24th 2012, James Duane Fletcher slipped the surly bonds of earth to join his Lord and Savior to fly the right seat. Jim Fletcher was born in Minneapolis, MN, on July 31st 1918, the second eldest of five children born to Vivian and Victor Fletcher. He attended the University of Minnesota and Mankato State, where he earned his Bachelor's degree, and obtained his Master's degree from Denver University in 1954. Jim was a world-class athlete: an avid tennis player who won many tournaments across the world, served as captain of the All Air Force Tennis Team, played on the U.S. National Hockey team that competed in the World Championships in Prague, Czechoslovakia, in 1947, played on the All-Air Force golf team, and won many squash, handball, and racquet ball tournaments well into his senior years. Like most of his contemporaries, he answered the call to defend his country during World War II, serving in the Army Air Corps. Before he left to fly 32 combat missions over Europe as co-pilot in the B-17, he married Ruth Louise Manthe, his bride of 58 years until her passing in 2001. Upon his return to the States, he continued his career in the Air Force, completing 35 years of dedicated service. His favorite assignments were in Germany and England where he could travel extensively and maintain contact with his friends in the 91st Bomb Group. In his later years, he spent the majority of his time traveling between Arizona, New Mexico, and Colorado, visiting with his devoted daughters and families, whom he adored. He is survived by his sister (Marjorie Morin), his three daughters (Jamie Dee Daniels (and Spence), Mary Jane Fletcher Hermes (and John), and Patricia Ann Mitchell (and Rusty), and six grandchildren (Kristina Daniels, Shannon Daniels-Zuschlag (and Kail), Holly Hermes, Justin Hermes, Courtney Mitchell, and Brett Mitchell). He will be greatly missed by his family. Jim was an ordinary man who lived an extraordinary life, a member of the "Greatest Generation," with a legacy of integrity, drive, and servant-hood. Now he is Home and truly free. A memorial service will be held on August 20th at 1pm at The Chapel of Our Savior (8 4th Street, Colorado Springs 80906). In lieu of flowers, donations in Jim's name may be made to: Colorado Youth Tennis Foundation. Attn: Colorado Springs Stars Program (for underprivileged children) 3300 E. Bayaud Ave. Suite 201 Denver, CO 80209.
Published in The Gazette from Aug. 8 to Aug. 15, 2012
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