James Edward Whitley

James (Jim) Edward Whitley, a resident of New Braunfels, Texas passed away early Tuesday morning, Oct. 5, 2021 at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio at the age of 92.  Jim was born on Dec. 7, 1928 in Kingsbury, Texas to the late Vernon Edward Whitley and Letha Senora Appling Whitley. Survivors include his loving wife, Gloria Whitley; brother Victor Whitley; son James E Whitley, Jr (Janet Whitley); daughter, Janet K Lacy (Bob Lacy); son Jonathon W Whitley (Shelly Whitley); seven grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren and two great-great grandchildren.  

Jim enlisted in the United States Air Force in August 1946 and served through May, 1949. He trained to be an aircraft mechanic and inspector.  Jim worked on B-17 Flying Fortress and B-29 Superfortress bombers.  

The majority of his time, however, was Crew Chief on the Mitchell B-25 bomber. In 1948, Jim was assigned to the Berlin Airlift as crew chief of a C-47 Skytrain and later served as part of the occupational forces in Germany.  

While in Germany, Jim also played football (lineman) for the U.S. Armed Forces and his team won the championship his final year. Jim received the Army of Occupation Medal and the World War II Victory Medal.  Jim was reactivated to the Air Force in August 1950 through August 1951 with the 14th Air Force during the Korean War.  

In November 1950, Jim was promoted to Staff Sergeant (E6). Jim was a former member of the Commemorative Air Force- Central Wing in San Marcos, Texas and home of the B-25 “Yellow Rose”.  He was called “The Boss” by many of his friends there.

Following Jim’s service in the Air Force, he went to work at Celanese Chemical Refinery in Bishop, Texas and retired in 1978.  Jim then went to work with various South Texas oilfield companies where he built a stellar reputation for sales and service. 

Jim was an avid camper, hunter and fisherman and spent most of that time on the King Ranch and in the mountains of Colorado.  His happiest moments came when spending quality time with Gloria and his children and grandchildren. 

In 1998, Jim and Gloria moved to New Braunfels, Texas and established wonderful relationships with neighbors, other close relatives and their church family. He was affectionately known as “Papa” by his family. He loved Country and Western music and was an amazing dancer. 

Jim was also a former member of the Masonic Lodge in Kingsville, Texas.   Memorial services at First United Methodist Church of New Braunfels followed by Masonic burial at Restland Cemetery in Bishop, Texas will be held at a later date.  

To leave a message for the family, please visit www.luxfhcares.com.

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