James M. Beatty Jr.
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James M. Beatty Jr., Major, U.S. Air Force Ret., 70, of Panama City, Fla., formerly of Eau Claire, passed away Tuesday morning at his home following a brief illness.
Born in Butler on Nov. 24, 1941, he was the son of the late James M. Sr. and Sylvia Dunlap Beatty.
He was a graduate of Kiski Preparatory Academy at Saltsburg in 1959 and graduated from Grove City College in 1963 with a bachelor of arts in economics.
Jim entered the U.S. Air Force in November 1963, and he began a 14-year career as an F-4 fighter pilot. He was honorably discharged with the rank of major in November 1976. Flying two tours of duty in Vietnam, he distinguished himself earning the Air Medal, a second with Oak Leaf Cluster, the Air Force Commendation Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster and the Distinguished Flying Cross. The latter was earned on March 4, 1966, when, while taking fire from 40 anti-aircraft positions, he destroyed an important bridge vital to troop and equipment deployment on the Ho Chi Minh Trail in North Vietnam. In addition to flying F-4s, he was a pilot instructor at Nellis Air Force Base in Las Vegas.
He was a member of VFW Post 7073 and American Legion Post 598, both of Parker, and was a life member of the Red River Valley Fighter Pilots Association at Nellis AFB.
Jim worked for a number of years as a partner with his brother, Dean Beatty, in the former J.M. Beatty Automotive of Eau Claire.
In 1988 he began a long career with McDonnell-Douglas Aircraft, now Martin Aviation, at Tindall Air Force Base in Panama City, Fla., as a flight simulator instructor, serving until retirement just a few months ago. Again, he distinguished himself as an outstanding instructor with awards from both the U.S. Air Force and the private sector.
He is survived by his loving wife, Mary Muscatello Beatty; his twin daughters, Natalie Hauck and Nadine Parish, both of Panama City, Fla.; his stepdaughter, Lisa Campbell of Butler; his stepson, Johnny Fecich of Maryland; several grandchildren, great-grandchildren; stepgrandchildren; and step-great-grandchildren; his brother, Dean G. Beatty of Eau Claire; his sisters, Gail L. Buzard of Eau Claire and Faye Hermann of Pittsburgh; and a number of nieces and nephews.
BEATTY - Friends of James M. Beatty Jr. of Panama City, Fla., formerly of Eau Claire, passed away Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2012, may call from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. Sunday at H. Jack Buzard Funeral Home, 201 S. Washington St., Eau Claire, where funeral services will be at 11 a.m. Monday. The burial will be private.
The VFW and the American Legion of Parker will conduct veterans military honors at 10:45 a.m. Monday at the funeral home.
The family suggests memorials to the Moniteau Scholarship Foundation, c/o Kathy Ferdinandsen, P.O. Box 202, West Sunbury, PA 16061.
To view condolences or and to send, sympathy cards and flowers, visit www, buzardfuneralhomes.com
Published in Butler Eagle on Jan. 4, 2012