James H. Jim Ousley passed away on September 20, 2021, at his home in League City, TX.
Jim was born on October 20, 1947, to Hugh and Retha Ousley in St. Louis, MO. After Jim graduated from Lindbergh High School in 1965, he went on to study English and Geology at Meramec Community College. Answering the call to serve his country, Jim enlisted in the U.S. Army and completed Infantry Officers Training School in 1968. He completed the Officer Rotary Wing Aviator Course at Fort Wolters, Texas in 1969. Jim was a Cobra pilot in Vietnam and served as a Gunship Platoon Leader and Airfield Commander. Jim also contributed to TOW antitank tactics and night vision tactics development and rose to the rank of Captain in his service. His service awards and decorations included: the Silver Star; Distinguished Flying Cross; Bronze Star; 2 Purple Hearts; 60 Air Medals; 2 Army Commendation Medals; and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry with Silver Star.
After his honorable discharge, Jim trained for his brief career as a stockbroker for Merrill Lynch Pierce Fenner & Smith. But, the call of the rotary-wing eventually brought him to the next phase(s) of his career, starting with Hosking Exploration Helicopters in Bountiful, Utah. Over the next several years Jim piloted helicopters and managed helicopter and air wing operations for Hosking Exploration; Evergreen Helicopters; Crescent Airways; and the U.S. State Department. His exploits took him to many locations, including South America, the Caribbean, and Cambodia. Along the way, he managed to include a short association with manufacturing specialized clothing and gear for the SCUBA industry. His later years saw him developing safety training, gear, and materials for many in high personal risk occupations.
In his travels, Jim touched the hearts and earned the respect of his friends and co-workers. He was a knowledgeable resource for his pilots and trainees. His understanding of the many layers of operations in seismic explorations deepened his appreciation of those in the industry. His path in life was frequently touched with a good measure of adventure. But, that seemed to suit his spirit.
Jim was predeceased by his parents, Hugh and Retha Ousley. He is survived by his brother Doug Ousley of Dallas, Texas; his brother William Ousley of St. Louis, Missouri; his brother Robert Ousley of Boulder, Colorado; his sister Peggy Ousley Green of Fenton, Missouri; his beloved Marita Ousley of Oakland Park, Florida; and many nieces and nephews.
Memorial Services will be conducted at 11:00 a.m. Saturday, October 23rd, 2021 at Jones Funeral Home, St. James, MO. Burial with full Military Honors will be at the St. James Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations are made to The Wounded Warrior Project in Jim's honor. https//support.woundedwarriorproject.org
Online condolences at www.jonesfuneral.com
All arrangements are under the Jones Funeral Home in St. James, MO.
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