James Elly Dearman, Jr. – November 28, 2017

James Elly Dearman, Jr., age 82, died on November 28, 2017 at BSA Hospice of the Southwest in Amarillo.

He was born on October 4, 1935 in Hattiesburg, Mississippi to James Elly Dearman, Sr. and Mary Louise Martin Dearman.  He had an older sister, Dorothy Dearman Brown, deceased.  He graduated  from Auburn University in Auburn, Alabama where he studied Aeronautical Management.

He was commissioned as a  United States Air Force officer in 1957 and served his country honorably for 20 years, retiring in 1977 with the rank of Major.  His career was an exciting one involved with the early days of the space program working on projects Gemini, Mercury, and primarily Apollo.  He served at all U.S. missile bases:  Vandenberg AFB, California; Cape Canaveral, Florida; and White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico.  After retiring from the Air Force, he owned and operated Sears Catalog stores in Lordsburg, New Mexico and Levelland, Texas for 17 years.  He worked as a real estate agent in El Paso and Rockport, Texas.

As a young man, he loved hunting, fishing, and was an expert skeet shooter.  He followed the football games of his beloved Auburn Tigers throughout his life and taught his pet African Gray parrot Kizzie to call “War Eagle.”  He played golf for many years.  In his later years, he focused on photography and was recognized as an accomplished wildlife photographer.  He was also involved in genealogy and traced his and his wife’s family roots back several centuries, leaving a wonderful legacy for his family.

Jim married Jane Lee Chalfant in 1961 in California.  They had four children:  Adrienne Bryce, Wendy Dearman Powell, Benjamin Stuart Dearman, and Rebecca Dearman Harkins.  They were his pride and joy, along with their children:  Ashly Nicole McCutchan, Mason Lee Malone, Douglas Houston Powell, Eleanor Jane Dearman, Harrison James Dearman, Abigail Lee Harkins, and Sophia Jane Harkins.  He had three great grandchildren:  Alissa Nicole McCutchan, James Cameron McCutchan, and Michael Dante Alcantar.

Jim is survived by his beloved wife of 56 years, Jane; his children; Adrienne’s husband Scott Bryce and Scott’s daughters, Nicole Bryce and Kayla Bryce; Ben’s wife Christina; Ashly’s husband, Daniel Alcantar, great-grandchildren, niece Deanna Harrison and nephew Chris Brown, nieces Lee Ann Gibson and Dana Falk, many friends, and his precious cat, Molly, and his grandduck Piper.

The family thanks the kind health providers who cared for Jim during the last month of his life:  Northwest Texas Heart Hospital CCU, Vibra Hospital CCU, and BSA Hospice of the Southwest.  A ceremony honoring Jim’s military service that volunteers and staff held for him as they gathered around him and his family was especially touching.  Staff and friends from First Presbyterian Church faithfully supported the family in prayer, as did many friends in Amarillo and elsewhere.

Funeral arrangements are by Boxwell Brothers Funeral Directors.  Services will be Friday, December 1, 2017, at 2 P.M. in the sanctuary of First Presbyterian Church at 1100 S. Harrison Street.  A reception at the Dearman home at 6122 Belpree Road will follow.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to Amarillo Panhandle Humane Society, 3501 S. Osage St., Amarillo, TX 79118.

One Response to “James Elly Dearman, Jr. – November 28, 2017”

  1. Johnna swiger says:

    My heartfelt condolences to jims dedicated family, and to his wife, my cousin, Janie.

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