James M. Casey

April 24, 2022

James M. Casey, a retired Air Force colonel and former Rockwell supervisor died peacefully on March 4, 2022 at his home in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He was 94 years old. A memorial service was held on March 19 at Floral Haven funeral home followed by a military honors graveside service.

James was born November 19, 1927, to Olive (Bell) and Dewey Casey on the family farm in Dade County, Missouri. He attended Carlock one-room school. He graduated from Dadeville High School in May 1945 where he was president of his class. He attended the University of Missouri until Uncle Sam called. He served two years in the U.S. Navy before returning to school. He graduated from the University of Missouri in 1951 with a BS in Business and a commission in the US Air Force.

He married Shirley Rusk of Oklahoma City.

After pilot training, he was sent to Korea where he flew combat support missions. For the next 22 years he served in countries across the globe.

During the Vietnam War, he led a squadron of C-130 airlift aircraft. He accumulated more than 5,000 flying hours in nine different aircraft and was a command pilot. He was a Division Head on the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the Pentagon. He received the Legion of Merit and the Distinguished Flying Cross Air Medal, among numerous other citations. His service was an inspiration, and he was privileged to swear into the military a nephew, a granddaughter and three grandsons. His youngest grandson will be commissioned in 2023.

During his Air Force years, Jim also earned a BS in Industrial Engineering from OU and an MA in Public Administration. He retired from the Air Force in 1975 and he and Shirley settled in Tulsa. He worked at Rockwell International (now Boeing) as an industrial engineer and supervisor, retiring in 1988.

Jim was a member of John Calvin Presbyterian Church for 42 years where he served as a deacon, trustee, and elder. Jim was a life-long member of Washington Lodge No 87 of Greenfield, Missouri. He was a member of the Rockwell Management Club, Tulsa Republican Club, and MOAA. He served as a precinct officer for the Tulsa County Election Board. He and Shirley were recognized by the IRS for over 20 years of community service as volunteer tax preparers.
Jim enjoyed being outside working on his lawn, time at his cabin at Fort Gibson Lake, grilling, traveling, and home repairs as well as the genealogy of his family. Family time with the grandchildren watching ballgames, listening to concerts, and playing board games kept him feeling young.

Jim was preceded in death by his wife of 56 years Shirley, and his brother Clarence of Kansas City, Missouri. He is survived by his sister, Irene Climer of Springfield, Missouri; brother, Bill Casey of Eugene, Oregon; son, Larry of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida; daughters: Jama Raubach (Gerry), Lacinda Keilbarth (Denni)s, both of Tulsa and Marcina Lee (Robert) of Hilton Head Island, South Carolina.

Jim was very proud of his 12 grandchildren and great grandchildren. He was a beloved uncle to several nieces and nephews.