James Edward McKillip December 13, 1925 - January 5, 2021 James Edward McKillip of North Richland Hills, TX died Tuesday, January 5, 2021 at Harris HEB Hospital in Bedford, TX. James was born on December 13, 1925 in his home at 300 N. Chandler in Ft. Worth, TX. He was the eldest of five children born to parents Sarah Katherine and Noble Edward McKillip. During James’s childhood, his father was a local preacher, and his mother worked as a homemaker taking care of James and his four younger sisters. James graduated from high school in 1943 and immediately joined the Enlisted Reserve Corps of the US Army, Air Corps division. In 1943, James also met and began courting Mary Lou Lain, and he won her heart in three short months by walking her home from church; he would walk the 3 miles from church to Mary Lou’s house, and then he would turn back and walk more than 2 miles back to his home on N. Chandler. James McKillip was married to Mary Lou Lain McKillip on April 29, 1944 in Laredo, TX on the day he graduated from Gunnery School. Mary Lou procured a marriage license in Ft. Worth and then got on a train to Laredo so that they could be married before James was shipped overseas for his first active duty assignment for World War II. During World War II, James began his active duty serving in Manilla and then was shipped to Japan where he was stationed until the end of February 1946. After the war, James was honorably discharged, and he returned to Ft. Worth and civilian life with his new bride finally at his side. James and Mary Lou’s marriage was blessed with three children: daughter, Julia Lee (1947), son David Lain (1952), and son Ronald Edward (1957). James graduated from Texas Christian University in 1947, and used his degree and military flight training to build a career centered around various aspects of aviation. James worked for both American Airlines and the Federal Aviation Administration for 28 years; he retired from FAA in December of 1985. After his retirement, James and Mary Lou moved to Buena Vista, CO where they spent two decades serving their church and living a quiet, relaxing life. Summers were spent hosting their children for leisurely vacations full of card games, lakeside picnics, and fishing, and winter breaks were made for snowmobiling adventures and nights in the den playing games warmed by the wood burning stove. James and Mary Lou returned to Texas in 2006 when Mary Lou began experiencing health problems, and she preceded him in death on April 15, 2007 just 14 days shy of their 63rd wedding anniversary. In his twilight years, James found himself blessed once again with the love of a Godly woman when he met Elvera Long at Legacy Church of Christ in North Richland Hills. James and Elvera had each been married for over 50 years to their first loves, and when they married on April 19, 2008, they found happiness once again. Together they enjoyed 12 years of love and companionship splitting time between Texas and Colorado and enjoying rich lives full of family and friends. Elvera Long McKillip preceded James in death by mere hours as she also passed away on January 5, 2021. James Edward McKillip is survived by his sisters Virginia Cumbie and Eddie Counts; daughter Julie Squire; son Ron McKillip; grandchildren Stephen Squire, Shannon Whiteley, Leslie McKillip, Matthew McKillip, Kyle McKillip, Haley McKillip, and Austin McKillip; and great-grandchildren Jordan Whiteley, Jimmy Squire, Reagan Whiteley, Jacob Squire, Caitlynn Ahmed, Maelie McKillip, Lorelai McKillip, Caroline McKillip, Lain McKillip, Anna McKillip, and Mary Lauren McKillip. Services for James Edward McKillip are pending at this time.
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