James "Jim" Robert
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Asheville - James "Jim" Robert Pickering, 94, passed away on Saturday, December 22, 2012 at Deerfield Episcopal Community.
A native of New Castle, IN, he was a son of the late Carl and Winifred Pickering.
After graduating from Indiana University in 1940, Jim took a job in Unalaska, AK until the spring of 1941 when he enlisted in the Army-Air Corps. While awaiting his appointment, he worked at Elmendorf Field in Anchorage. He reported to Hancock College of Aeronautics in Santa Maria, CA in August of 1941. This was the beginning of his career and love of flying. After WWII was declared, he was commissioned a 2nd Lt. and sent to the CBI Theatre. He was based in Sookerating, India for 18 months. He flew C-46's and C-47's over the hump and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross; Air Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters and the Presidential Unit Citation for his 65 missions. When he returned to the States in April of 1944, he was commissioned a Captain in the Air Force. He flew Military Air Transport across the country and was based in Nashville, TN. It was at this time he met and courted Winnifred Osbey, of Sioux City, IA. He was commissioned a Major when he was discharged from the Air Force in August of 1945. Jim then interviewed with airlines to fly as a commercial pilot. He accepted a job with Panagra (Pan American Grace Airways) based in Lima, Peru, South America. He married Winnifred on November 21, 1945 and they left for Lima in January of 1946.
They enjoyed life in Peru for nine years. He flew to different countries in South America on DC-3's, which also took him across the Andes from Chili to Argentina many times. Their three children were all born in Lima. In 1954, he transferred back to the States and flew out of Miami International to South America. They lived in Hollywood, FL at the time. In 1967, Panagra merged with Braniff Airways and he transferred to their home base in Dallas, TX at which time he achieved his Captain bars. He flew out of Love Field and Dallas-Fort Worth airports until his retirement in 1978.
After retirement, Jim and his wife lived nine years in St. Petersburg, FL and then ten years in Hendersonville. Throughout their retirement, they continued to enjoy travels to interesting places, visits to see family and friends, wherever they lived.
He was a member of St. Giles Chapel, ALPA, the Braniff Silver Eagles, past member of the Lion's Club of St. Petersburg and the Hendersonville Civitan Club.
In January of 2000, they moved to the Deerfield Episcopal Retirement Community where they enjoyed many friends and took an active part in the community.
Jim is survived by his loving wife of 67 years, Winnifred; two sons, James C. Pickering and his wife, Susan, of Lakeland, FL and Richard L. Pickering and his wife, Sandy, of Silver Hill, AL; one daughter, Marilyn Pickering Feaster of Colorado Springs, CO; six grandchildren, Chris Pickering of Gainesville, FL, Carly Pickering Snyder and her husband, Andy, of Lakeland, FL, Bradley Pickering and his wife, Jenifer of Nashville, TN, Rusty Pickering and his wife, Gina, of Birmingham, AL, Brian Feaster and his wife, Jen, of Framingham, MA and Kimberly McMahon Feaster of Arlington, TX. Jim also has eight great-grand children.
A Memorial Service will be held at 3:00 PM on Friday, January 4, 2013 at the St. Giles Chapel of Deerfield Retirement Community with Reverend Morgan Gardner officiating.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a memorial contribution to the Deerfield Residency Fund, 1617 Hendersonville Road, Asheville NC 28803 or to a charity of ones choice.
Groce Funeral Home at Lake Julian is assisting the family and a memorial register is available at www.grocefuneralhome.com.
Groce Funeral Home at Lake Julian
1401 Patton Avenue
Asheville, NC 28806
Published in the Asheville Citizen-Times on Dec. 27, 2012