Col. Donald R. James, (USAF, Ret.)
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Col. Donald R. James, (USAF, Ret.) 86, of Lafayette, IN. died at St. Elizabeth Central Friday April 18, 2014 at 3:00 PM. Donald was born in Anderson, IN, October 10, 1927the son of Perry and Mary James , and was a graduate of Anderson High School and Purdue University. He married Dolores N. Naville July 2, 1949 in Tucson, AZ. And she preceded him in death November 19, 2012. Col. James served in the U.S. Air Force from 1948 until 1977, and flew over 100 combat missions during the Korean War in F-84's. Later, he flew with the U-2 program out of Del Rio, Texas and with the SR-71 program at Beale AFB, CA. Col. James served as a base commander at McConnell AFB, KS.; K.I. Sawyer AFB, MI. and at Eareckson Air Station, Shemya, Aleutian Islands, Alaska. From 1980 until 1996 he was a simulator instructor in the Aviation Technology Program at Purdue University, training future pilots. Col. James was a member of St. Mary Cathedral in Lafayette. Surviving is a brother-in-law, Francis Naville of Monticello, IN.; three nieces, Jeanie Klippel of Terre Haute, IN.; Nancy Naville of Washington, D.C.; Connie Pfrommer of Columbia, S.C.; four nephews, Robert Naville of Lafayette,IN.; David Naville of Monticello, IN.; Gary Naville of San Antonio, TX.; and James Naville of West Lafayette, IN. Also surviving is a special friend, Pearl Ann Dejong of Thomasville, GA. He was preceded in death by two sisters, Jodi and Norma. Friends may call at St. Mary Cathedral from 10:00 AM until the Mass of Christian Burial at 11:00 AM Wednesday, Fr. Jeff Martin officiating, with entombment at Tippecanoe Memory Gardens Mausoleum. Military rites will be conducted by American Legion Post 11. In lieu of flowers, memorials are requested to Almost Home Humane Society. Memories and condolences may be left at www.hahngroeberfuneralhome.com. Hahn-Groeber Funeral & Cremation Services is caring for the family.
Published in the Journal & Courier from Apr. 22 to Apr. 23, 2014