James Gilbert Wamsley (1917 - 2017)

Obituary
4 entries
  • "Col. Wamsley was not only a great science teacher, he ran..."
    - Walt Lindblom
  • "I will always remember him as my teacher.Praying for the..."
    - DAVID W. WILLIAMS
  • "I was one of those students from the sixties that enjoyed..."
    - Wayne King
  • "Col. Wamsley left a lasting impression on me when I was a..."
    - Donald Williams
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Lt. Col. James Gilbert Wamsley, U.S. Army (Retired), 99, entered into eternal rest on January 8, 2017. Friends and family are invited to attend a Requiem Mass in celebration of his life at St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church, 308 7th Street, NE, on Thursday, January 12, 2017, at 10 a.m. The family will receive friends from 5 - 7 p.m. on Wednesday, January 11, 2017 at K.L. Brown Funeral Home. A rosary will be held at the funeral home at 6:30 p.m. Interment will be at Jacksonville Cemetery. LTC Wamsley was born on December 31, 1917 in Baltimore, Maryland, a son of the late Porter Maxwell Gilbert and the late Catherine Bannon Wamsley. He was named after Xaverian Brother Gilbert who was his father's mentor in college. James was educated at Asheville (NC) High School and attended Mount Saint Joseph Xaviarian College in Baltimore, Maryland. He married Rosemary Gavlas on January 10, 1946 in Atkins, Arkansas. In 1941 he enlisted in the U.S. Army and was assigned to Field Artillery where he received training at Fort Sill, Oklahoma. In January 1943 he graduated from OCS as a Lieutenant. In March 1946 he went to Nuremberg, Germany in support of the War Crimes Trials. From October 1952 to March 1954 he served in Korea. He came back to Quartermaster in Virginia before being sent to Fort Lee for training. He transferred to U.S. Army Alaska Headquarters in Fort Richardson as Fiscal Officer where he was in charge of the Alaskan Pipeline. He then became Commissary Officer at Fort McClellan, Alabama in November 1959 until his retirement in January 1961. LTC Wamsley was awarded the Bronze Star Medal for meritorious achievement in ground operations against the enemy in Korea, the Army Commendation Medal for Meritorious Service, and the Certificate of Achievement. After graduating from Jacksonville State University and Post-Graduate Studies at Auburn University, James taught at Jacksonville High School until his second retirement in 1983. He taught Science, English, Psychology and Audiovisual at JHS and was the press box announcer at football games. For nearly twenty years, students knew him simply as "The Colonel". LTC Wamsley was a member of St. Charles Catholic Church of Jacksonville for over 50 years. He was active in volunteer efforts with Jacksonville Troop 147 of the Boy Scouts where he served as Assistant Scoutmaster and Scoutmaster, with RSVP preparing taxes for the elderly, and with the Knights of Columbus where he earned 4th degree Knighthood. LTC Wamsley will be long remembered by his former students for his stimulating and fun science classes and for the many football and basketball games, wrestling matches, plays and concerts that he and his students filmed on behalf of the high school. During their life, the Wamsley family was noted for extensive travels each summer to all 50 United States, Europe, China, Japan, Canada and Mexico. James leaves a daughter, Suzanne Voss, of Pasadena, Cali.; two sons and daughters-in-law, Michael and Patricia Wamsley, of Manhattan, Kan., and Patrick and Susan Wamsley, of Mount Pleasant, S.C.; loving grandchildren, Tyler Wamsley, of Olathe, Kan., Benjamin Wamsley, of Mount Pleasant, S.C., Katelyn Wamsley, of Mount Pleasant, S.C., and Heather Wamsley, of Atchison, Kansas. He was predeceased by his wife of 66 years, Rosemary; sisters, Katherine Rohe and Mary Coonan; brothers, Frank X., John P. and Edward Wamsley; his grandchildren René Voss and Megan Wamsley. Flowers will be accepted or donations may be made to the St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church Building Fund. K.L. Brown Funeral Home and Cremation Center 322 Nisbet Street, NW Jacksonville, AL 36265 (256) 435-7042
Funeral Home
K.L. Brown Funeral Home and Crematory
322 Nisbet Street NW
Jacksonville, AL 36265
(256) 435-7042
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Published in The Anniston Star on Jan. 10, 2017
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