SEARS, James

SEARS, James Francis

Beloved husband, father, and friend, James Francis Sears, 80, of Centerville, Ohio, passed away on Monday, November 28, 2022, at Ohio's Hospice in Dayton, surrounded by family. Jim was born on October 26, 1942, in Milan, MO, the son of James P. and Eula Francis Sears. Jim graduated from Milan High School in 1960, after which he attended the Air Force Academy in Colorado. At the Academy, he lettered in football, playing as an offensive and defensive lineman. He started for the Falcons in the 1963 Gator Bowl. In 1964, he graduated from the Academy and married his high school sweetheart, Betty Lou Caldwell, in the new Academy chapel.

He completed pilot training at Moody A.F.B. and flew 100 combat missions over North Vietnam as a fighter pilot in the F4 Phantom. During his 26 years in the Air Force, he was stationed around the U.S., England, and Korea. He trained other fighter pilots, attained the rank of Colonel, and was an award-winning Air Force contractor. He retired in 1990 from the Air Force, settling in Beavercreek, Ohio. He then embarked on an eleven-year second career teaching high school in southern Ohio. Jim was an active member of Kirkmont Church in Beavercreek for many years.

Jim is survived by his darling Betty, his four children: Teri Rostron (David), Christine Sears (Eric), James Aaron Sears, and Valerie Oswalt (Ty); and four grandchildren, two great-grandchildren, his sister Nancy Martin (Grant), extended family, and many friends, all of whom will miss his sense of humor and adventurous spirit. A memorial service will be held on December 30, 2022, Kirkmont Church (3377 Shakertown Rd., Beavercreek, OH 45434), with visitation at 10:00 a.m. and a service at 11:00 a.m., with Pastor Dan Borgelt presiding. Burial will follow in Dayton National Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Gary Sinise Foundation for veterans, first responders or Ohio's Hospice in Dayton.

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