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James F. McCluskey Col.(ret)

1930 - 2013 Obituary Condolences
James F. McCluskey Col.(ret) Obituary
Col. James F. McCluskey (ret)

Mesquite, NV

Jim was born Jan. 23, 1930, at Fort Smith, Ark. He moved to Lawton, Okla., where he sold newspapers at Fort Sill, and was active in high school sports. He was a four-year letterman and captain of the basketball team.

After graduation from St. Mary's High School, Jim attended Cameron College for a year. He applied for West Point Military Academy and was accepted and graduated. He was commissioned a second lieutenant in 1953.

Jim's first assignment was Fort Bragg, N.C., where he was assigned to the 82nd Airborne. Jim was later sent to Germany, with the 5th Infantry Division. After returning to the States Jim earned his Masters from Babson Institute and was selected to attend MIT for graduate school. He completed the Command and General Staff course. He returned to the 82nd Airborne at Fort Bragg, N.C. where he commanded the 782nd Maintenance Battalion until 1969. He spent two tours of duty in the Far East, One in Thailand and one in Vietnam. Jim was assigned to Detroit, where he was selected to be program director for the redesign of the Bradley fighting vehicle. He commanded the Tooele Army Depot until 1978 at which point he was transferred to Heidelberg Germany where he retired in 1979 returning to Utah.

He immediately took a position with Morton Thiokol Corporation where he eventually served as the program manager supporting the redesign of the solid rocket used by NASA. This design replaced the solid rocket used in the Challenger disaster. Jim was instrumental in testing the new design that solved that problem.

Jim met his lovely wife, Ann, at Ft. Dix, N.J., and they have been married 60 years. They moved to Mesquite in 1999, after living in St. George for 10 years. They have four wonderful children, Joann, James, Patrick and Teresa; 10 grandchildren and 4 great grandchildren.

Jim was very active in the Knights of Columbus achieving 4th degree, and was actively involved in the Mesquite VA Center. He performed outstanding community service and was awarded a certificate of appreciation from the Special Olympics of Nevada.

Viewing at Virgin Valley Mortuary, Friday, August 2, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m., 320 East Old Mill Rd in Mesquite, NV. Funeral mass: Saturday, August 3, 10:00 a.m., La Virgen De Guadalupe Catholic Church, 401 Canyon Crest Blvd., Mesquite, NV.

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Published in The Spectrum & Daily News on Aug. 2, 2013
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