Jesus loves me!
He who died
Heaven's gate to open wide;
He will wash away my sin,
Let His little child come in."
On July 2, 1924, Ethel Freeman Bost and Daniel Edgar Bost had their first child, a son who they named James Edgar. They soon gave James a younger brother, Clarence, and a sister, Doris. James grew up with his family in Eagle Springs, North Carolina, where he helped his dad out in his dad's general store. James often recounted his "fond" memories of often having to go out back and kill a chicken or two for the local residents who shopped there.
James followed his parents and his brother and sister in death, slipping away quietly and peacefully as was his nature Tuesday, August 26, 2014, at the age of 90 years.
James graduated from high school and headed off to N.C. State College in 1941 to pursue a degree in engineering. At this time the world was embroiled in World War II, and as soon as James could, in 1943 he interrupted his college education to join the Air Force, graduating from training as an aeronautical navigator in 1944. He was shipped off to Europe in a troop transport - hence his avowal to never go on a pleasure cruise with his family - and joined the European War Campaign as a navigator on a B â€ 17 "Flying Fortress" flying missions out of England. He earned several campaign ribbons and an Air Medal. We his family are extremely proud of his service to our country.
After receiving his honorable discharge from the Army Air Corps as a Second Lieutenant in 1945, James headed back to N.C. State to complete his education. While at a party hosted by a local Presbyterian minister, James' eyes lit upon our mother, Fannie McKay "Mac" Chapin. She was a beautiful young thing, and James, a very handsome young college student, was immediately smitten. They soon fell in love and were married on December 19, 1947. They then had four children: Janet, Rebecca, Edd and Elizabeth.
Following James' graduation from N.C. State in 1949, James and Mac moved to Virginia where James had secured a job at Newport News Shipbuilding. From there he worked as a marine engineer at Norfolk Naval Shipyard and then at Fort Eustis. While at Fort Eustis, a friend convinced him that his career should take a different turn, and James shifted his attention to the space program, then in its infancy. He began work at the Manned Spacecraft Center in Langley, Virginia, in 1960 in the Mercury Program Office. James knew that this was the direction his life should take. So, when Houston was selected to be the site of what would become NASA's Johnson Space Center, James did not hesitate to move his young family halfway across the country to Texas.
James had a very long and distinguished career at NASA, ending his government service with his
retirement from NASA on January 3, 1985, as Chief of the Shuttle Support Branch. But his love of and support for NASA did not end with his retirement. As soon as Space Center Houston opened its doors, he promptly volunteered and spent many happy hours there.
James also was very active in his community of Pearland, Texas. He first was elected a trustee on the PISD Board of Education and served two terms. He also was a Pearland City Councilman.
Mac has said many times that both she and James were "born Presbyterian." When they could not locate a Presbyterian church close to their home in Pearland after their move to Texas, James and Mac set out to bring a church to them. They were the original two founding members of First Presbyterian Church in Pearland where James was an Elder. He was very active in the church and served on many committees both in the local church and at Presbytery.
The joy of James' life was his family, and his departure from this earth leaves a big hole in his family that can never be filled. He adored and doted on Mac. In addition to Mac he is survived by children Janet Garrison; Becca O'Connor; Dr. Edd Bost and his wife, Fran; Elizabeth Bryans and her husband, Shane. James and Mac also spent many, many hours with their adoring grandchildren, James Lincoln, Beth Herrera, Daniel Bost, David Bost, Rebecca Bost Norris, James Bryans, Hannah Bryans and Jemma Bryans. James was also blessed with four beautiful great grandchildren, James and Gemma Herrera and Nils and Ethan Lincoln. Additionally, with Rebecca's marriage last year, James also gained a grandson â€ in â€ law, Matt Norris.
James had the sweetest and most loving and generous nature. At the end of his life when he developed Alzheimer's, that sweet and loving nature thankfully did not change. His journey through the end stage of his life was helped by the staff at Emeritus in Friendswood and by the loving and devoted nurses and staff of Faith Community Hospice, particularly his primary hospice nurse, Zella. His family is grateful to each and every one of them for providing such wonderful care to him and easing his soul on its journey as he "slipped the surly bonds of Earth."
A memorial service will be held on Sunday, August 31, 2014 at 3:00 P.M. at the First Presbyterian Church of Pearland, 2930 E. Broadway, Pearland, TX 77581 with Pastor Helen Rose Moore officiating.
James' family asks that in lieu of flowers donations be made to First Presbyterian Church of Pearland; Alzheimer's Foundation of America, 322 Eighth Ave., 7th Floor, New York, NY 1001 or the
"Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of earth,
And danced the skies on laughter â€ silvered wings;
Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun â€ split clouds, â€â€ and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of â€â€ Wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there
I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air...
Up, up the long, delirious, burning blue
I've topped the wind â€ swept heights with easy grace
Where never lark or even eagle flew â€â€
And, while with silent lifting mind I've trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand, and touched the face of God."
"High Flight," John Gillespie Magee