James Edward Summers, Sr., of Cape Girardeau died at the age of 84 on Friday, Jan. 26, 2007, at St. Francis Medical Center.
He was born March 6, 1922, in Palmyra, the son of Walter and Myrtle Summers. Jim and Pat Mills were married Jan. 25, 1958, in the chapel at Malden Air Base.
Jim was a graduate of Palmyra High School and Hannibal La Grange College. He enjoyed music and won many awards playing the trumpet in high school and college, as did his sons. His trumpet was eventually lost in a hangar fire. Jim also sang in several Palmyra churches during the holidays, in addition to quartets while living in Dexter.
He was an avid sportsman and hunter, known for his marksmanship and keen sense of sight. He was also a Scoutmaster with the Boy Scouts of America.
Jim served stateside in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II as a flight instructor. He was stationed at air bases throughout the south and southwest, and locally Harris Field in Cape Girardeau and Malden Air Base. He eventually retired from the Air Force with the rank of lieutenant colonel.
Jim was employed 29 years as chief pilot for the Charles N. Harris Companies. His tenure with the Harris Companies included many great experiences, such as flying former President Ronald Reagan. Jim retired in 1989, having logged over 20,000 flight hours.
He is survived by his wife, Pat, of 49 years; two sons, Jim, Jr. of Cape Girardeau and Steven of St. Louis; a grandson, Collin of Cape Girardeau; a brother, Robert, of Palmyra; nieces and nephews and many loving friends and neighbors.
Jim was preceded in death by his parents; two brothers, Bruce and Randol; and a sister, Virginia.
Visitation was held from 5-8 p.m. Monday, Jan. 29, 2007, at Ford and Sons Mt. Auburn Chapel in Cape Girardeau.
Funeral services were conducted at 11 a.m. today, Tuesday, Jan. 30, 2007, at Ford and Sons Mt. Auburn Chapel with Rev. Mike Shupert officiating.
Interment followed at 1 p.m. at the Missouri State Veterans Cemetery in Bloomfield with full military honors.