James R. Mailler
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Lt. Col, US Army (Ret.)
"Sky Soldier"

James R. Mailler passed away peacefully at home with his family by his side on March 21, 2011 in Arlington, VA. He was born September 23, 1927 in Middletown, NY to Welding Ring Mailler and Alice Kent Mailler. He was a graduate of Middletown, H.S., class of 1946. While attending high school he was also an announcer for radio station WALL. A graduate of Syracuse University, he was also a member of its fencing team and ROTC program. While there he worked at radio station WAER with future luminaries Dick Clark and William Safire. Immediately following graduation and the outbreak of hostilities on the Korean peninsula, he trained at Fort Benning's elite Airborne School after which he served in the Korean Conflict. He went on to serve a total of 23 years in Korea, Japan, Germany and most proudly with the 173rd Airborne Brigade (Sky Soldiers) in Vietnam between 1966 -1967. Upon retirement from the military in 1973, he pursued his 3rd Masters degree, this one in Healthcare Administration from George Washington University and ended his career as Director of Fund Raising at Hadley Memorial hospital in Wash. DC. He is survived by a sister, Janice L. Gross of East Brunswick, NJ; nephews James R. Gross of Charlton, NY and Dwayne S. Gross, his wife Astrid N. Gross and son Philip Tiberius Naess-Gross, all of NYC. In the last years of his life Jim could be found basking in his new role as the "wise man of the patio", glass of wine in hand, dispensing stock market advice and other wisdom acquired during his remarkable life. A gifted raconteur, he mesmerized all with tales of love, war, Japanese Art and literature. Jim had a special fondness for humor, irony and Haiku.

He had this ancient Japanese haiku posted to his front door shortly before his death for all to see:

My hut in spring!
True. There is nothing in it -
There is everything!

Never one to waste a dollar, he would think this obituary already too long and costly! James R. Mailler's ashes will be interred at Arlington National Cemetary.

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Published in The Washington Post on Apr. 21, 2011.
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