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James Wilkie


1940 - 2019
James Wilkie Obituary
James Wilkie passed away Friday, March 8, 2019, in Las Vegas, Nev., following a long illness. Born Sept. 27, 1940, in Perryopolis. Jim was a mover from a young age, living in various areas of Pennsylvania from Elizabeth and Belle Vernon. A 1958 graduate of Rostraver High School, he was onto California State Teachers College. He resided and taught middle school science in Akron, Ohio, prior to joining the Marine Corps. Jim attended officer candidate school, fixed wing flight school and finally rotor (helicopter) school. In 1967, he headed to Vietnam, where he flew rescue and mercy missions, awarding him with medals and a chapter in a book as he showed mercy to save a young girl's life. Jim was shot down in Vietnam, but still his love of flying grew stronger. He retired as Colonel from the USMC in July 1992, with several metals for courage and an endless list of accomplishments. Post-military, his love of flying continued in his life, where he served as captain on Eastern and Frontier Airlines. He continued flying NetJet, where his stories of flying celebrities and sports figures culminated his career. He continued with additional ventures, keeping his feet firmly rooted on the ground-but his tracks left in the air were where his heart remained. Jim met his beloved Nikki on his stint at Eastern Airlines and she kept his stories honest and his feet and life grounded in Las Vegas. Survived by his wife, Nikki; and his children, Brian, Scott, Brooke and James Wilkie and also Jon Petrick and Jeff Petrick; seven grandchildren, Andrew, Brian, Jordan, Connor, Mia, Anessa and Gianna; and one great-grandson. He is also survived by his sister, Gail Wilkie Druga (Nick), of Pittsburgh; and two nephews, Nick (Jamie), of Pittsburgh, and Adam (Casey), of New Jersey.
A memorial service was held prior in Las Vegas, which is followed by an afternoon memorial service Monday, Aug. 12, 2019, at BOHN-MATICH FUNERAL HOME, located at 1099 Maplewood Ave., Ambridge. Jim will take his final trip and be laid to rest in Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2019. His final wings will be given as we listen to his HOORAH, a fine representation of how Jim lived.
Rest in Peace-God Speed-Fly High.
Published in Trib Total Media, online only on Aug. 4, 2019
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