James Robert Scruggs

James "Robert" Scruggs, 94, of Bessemer, Ala., passed away on Dec. 17, 2012, at UAB Hospital in Birmingham.
He is at peace after an extended battle with Alzheimer's disease. He is formerly of Cullman, Ala.
Friends may visit family at Cullman Heritage Funeral Home, 255 County Road 1435, Cullman, Ala., on Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2012. The funeral service will be at 11 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 20, 2012 at First Baptist Church, Fairview, 1022 Welcome Road, Cullman, Ala. He will lie in state 10-11 a.m.
Bro. Horace Hall and Dr. David Chambers will be officiating. Interment will follow at the adjoining church cemetery.
Robert was born to the late James Fred and Norma Iona Thomlinson Scruggs in Morgan County, Ala. He graduated from Fairview High School in 1937. In 1941, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy in World War II where he met his first wife, WAVE Annette Farley, to whom he was married for 31 years. Annette died in 1980.
Robert started as an aviation machinist mate repairing and flight-testing PBY Catalina planes. Later Robert attended Flight Engineering School in Burbank, Calif., and became a flight engineer.
During the cold war, he flew "radar" barriers in the Atlantic and Pacific often under harrowing conditions. He served in a fighter squadron on the USS Leyte and became one of the first "Hurricane Hunters." When he was stationed on Midway Island, he retired from the Navy as a chief petty officer in 1963 at the age of 44 and returned to Alabama with his family.
Along with farming, he was employed by George C. Marshal Space Center at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville and worked on the Saturn rocket which took Apollo astronauts to the moon. Later he worked at Hayes Aircraft in Birmingham. He earned an associate degree in retail marketing distribution from Wallace Sate in 1981.
Robert's last career was serving as a special Right of Way representative for various natural gas pipeline companies. He and his second wife, Norma, and their poodle, Heidi, traveled all over the United States for about 20 years. He was recognized for his dedication, loyalty and excellence in the field of Right of Way and was elected as a member of the International Right of Way Association.
Others of his family who preceded him in death are two infant sons; three sisters, Ruby Dye, Evelyn Harris and Kate Elna Harbin; and one brother, Frank Scruggs.
He is survived by his wife, Norma Hazle Davis Scruggs, originally of Hodgenville, to whom he was married for 31 years; three daughters, Susan Scruggs of Alabaster, Ala., Roberta Scruggs of Buckfield, Maine, and Kathy Scruggs of Birmingham, Ala; two sisters, Violet Hamilton of Somerville, Ala., and Frances (Robert) Harris of Cullman, Ala.; five grandchildren, Katie Scruggs, Daniel and Kurt Krohne and Reese and Hannah Koehler; Staci Weaver and her four children, Jake, Joey, Jamie and Laci; and many loving cousins, nieces and nephews.
Before becoming a member of Hunter St. Baptist Church in Hoover in 2007, Robert was a long-time active and dedicated member of First Baptist Church, Fairview, in Cullman, Ala., serving in various positions of the church including choir director.
Donations may be made in Robert's memory to the Alzheimer's of Central Alabama, P.O. Box 2273, Birmingham, AL 35201.

Published in The Larue County Herald News from Dec. 18 to Dec. 26, 2012