Wednesday, 04 January 2017 16:23
Remembering Jim Gravette Jr., Class of 1972
On October 21, 2016, retired Air Force Colonel James "Jim" A. Gravette Jr. of Arlington VA passed away.
He is survived by his wife Margaret; daughter Peggy Purcell (Mike) and children Lindsey, Casey, Jaimee, and Natalie; son Jim Gravette (Julie) and children Megan, Erin, and Lauren; and daughter Aimee Kokotakis (Manny) and children Nicholas and Julia.
Jim was born in Cleveland, OH (1932), and was the oldest of six children. He was recruited under Woody Hayes to play football at Miami University (Ohio), and graduated in 1954 with a degree in Education. He received his Master's degree from the University of Denver (1958), and attended the National War College (1972).
Jim entered the Air Force in 1954 and was one of the young officers selected to assume the role of upper classmen in order to start up the Air Force Academy. He flew as a navigator during the Vietnam War as part of the 355th Tactical Fighter Wing where he was awarded the Air Medal, Distinguished Flying Cross, and Presidential Unit Citation. He rose to Director of South American Affairs.
Jim retired from the Air Force in 1985 after 30 years of service to our country. After retiring, Jim worked for various defense firms in the Northern VA area, and also was a substitute teacher at George Mason High School in Falls Church VA. He volunteered for the Military Officers Association of America, Saint Agnes Catholic School (basketball coach), and Knights of Columbus (Redcoats). Jim was married in 1962, and he and his family traveled all over the world.
Despite all his titles, Jim was most proud of being "grandpa". He touched so many with his calm, smart, strong, and loving personality, and his humor had no equal. The world is a better place because Jim was here, and we will miss him dearly.
Obituary Courtesy of Legacy.
Published in Farewell Salute