James Carner of Rozetta, Ill., born April 3, 1929, left on his final flight Feb. 22, 2011.
The Guest Book is expired.
Jim is survived by his wife, Eunice; sons and daughters-in-law, John and Linda Carner and Paul and Nancy Carner; granddaughters, Beth and Susan Carner; and brother, Robert Carner.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Edward and Grace Carner; and brothers, Lawrence and Donald.
Jim married Eunice Green on Aug. 27, 1955, in Monmouth, Ill.
He was the youngest of four boys and spent his early years working on farms with his father, Ed, and brothers Lawrence, Bob and Donald. Lawrence learned to fly in the CPT program at Clugston Airport in Macomb, Ill., in 1943 and was lost over Paris flying B-17s; Donald was reported missing a year later flying B-25s in Italy.
Jim acquired his love of flying from Lawrence and Donald, pursuing his pilot's license in 1945 at age 16. He graduated from Abingdon High School in Abingdon, Ill. the same year. Bob and Jim bought various airplanes and built flying experience hunting from their Piper Cub.
Jim's first flying job was in 1948 crop dusting in a Piper Cub in Pecatonica, Ill. Jim served in the U.S. Army as a medic after World War II with the 7th Evacuation Mobile Army Surgical Hospital unit in Baumholder, Germany from 1952-1953.
Jim was hired at Anderson Air Activities and based in Moultrie, Ga., and Malden, Mo., from 1953-1955 as a civilian instructor for the U.S. Air Force in the North American T-6 and T-28. Hired at American Airlines in April 1956 he was based at Chicago (Midway Airport), Boston and finally Chicago's O'Hare Airport until his retirement in 1988. His flying career spanned landing a Piper Cub in a farm field to the 360-passenger DC-10 landing in Frankfurt, Germany and Honolulu.
Jim and Eunice had cattle on the farm in Rozetta, operated Rozetta Crop Service from 1969-1976 and were partners with Art Wolford and Gene Woolley in the operation of the Monmouth Airport from 1972-1974.
After "retirement" Jim earned his commercial helicopter license at age 63. Eunice and Jim moved seasonally from Illinois to Fairbanks from 1986-2004 where Jim flew floatplanes, mined for gold and built his own turbine powered 300 mph airplane.
Jim's life and aviation career saw the progression from horse-drawn transportation to man walking on the moon, and he relished every minute of it.
A funeral service will be held at 10 a.m., Saturday, Feb. 26, at Turnbull Funeral Home in Monmouth, Ill., with interment in Rozetta Cemetery.
His family plans to receive friends from 5-7 p.m., Friday, Feb. 25, also at the funeral home.
Memorial funds have been established for either the Rozetta Baptist Church or the Henderson County Hospice.
For more information please visit www.turnbullfuneralhomes.com.
Published in Daily News-Miner on Feb. 24, 2011