James Reynolds Bomberger, 83, EHS grad, decorated Air Force retiree, military marketing director

By on November 1, 2017

MSGT USAF Ret. James Reynolds Bomberger, of Tustin, Mich., passed away on Monday, Sept. 25, 2017, at his home with family by side. He was 83.

Jim was born Nov. 18, 1933, in Lancaster, to Reynolds C. and Minetta E. (Schreck) Bomberger. He was a graduate of Ephrata High School.

In 1954, James entered into marriage with the former Carole Wagoner of Pittsburgh, in San Antonio, Texas.

Jim answered the call of duty proudly serving with the United State Air Force, during the Korean War conflict and the Vietnam War. He retired as Staff Loadmaster, Headquarters Military Airlift Command, after 23 years of faithful service. Over the last 21 years of that service he gained over 13,000 flying hours experience on the C-124, C-141, and C-5 aircraft flying to 35 foreign countries. Fourteen of the 21 years associated directly with the DOD/AEC nuclear airlift program. He was awarded the Air Force Meritorious Service Medal and MAC Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Nuclear Safety for improvements on the C-141 Nuclear Airlift Program.

The day after his Air Force retirement, Jim began his career with AAR Brooks and Perkins where he distinguished himself as director military marketing. Jim relocated to Cadillac in 1981 and became an instrumental part of AAR Mobility Systems; retiring from there as vice president of military sales and marketing following a 33-year career. He continued to do some consulting for AAR.

Jim was an active part of the D.A.V., the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the 40&8, KWV, the Eagles and Elks Lodge, and served as past commander for the American Legion and AMVETS. He was the driving force behind the 2011 American Veterans Traveling Wall Tribute in Cadillac and was presented a key to the city from the mayor. Jim is a Lifetime member and one of the founding fathers of the P.L.A (Professional Load Masters Association), lifetime member of the A/TQ (Airlift Tanker Association), and enjoyed the outdoors, spending time hunting and fishing and horseback riding.

Jim trained, hunted, showed, and raised Chesapeake Bay Retrievers; a hobby both Jim, Carole and the family could enjoy together. He also enjoyed boating and water and snow skiing and was one of the first to barefoot water-ski. Jim will be deeply missed by a grateful nation, community and family.

Jim is survived by his wife of 63 years: Carole Bomberger of Tustin; his daughters: Jackie (Jeff) Drake and Donna (Sam) Wille; seven grandchildren: Amy Lynn (Carlo) Arini, Ryan James (Brandi) Bomberger, Nicole (Patrick) Shields, Erin (Charles) Gabbert, Jason Wille, Amber (Jason Gniposky) Drake, and Jeffery Drake; great-grandchildren: Bella Arini, Mia Arini, Madison Gabbert, Charlie Gabbert, Wyatt Gniposky, with another baby Bomberger expected in December; his sister: Anne (Robert) Sherman; two nieces: Kelly and Amy; as well as many other loving family members and friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents; and his son: Reynolds “Ren” Charles Bomberger.

Memorial services will were held Oct. 7 at the Hitesman-Holdship Funeral Home in Cadillac, Mich., and appetizers followed at Amvets Post 110 in Cadillac. Interment was at the Sherman Township Cemetery.

Memorial contributions may be directed to Munson Cadillac Hospice, 400 Hobart St., Cadillac, MI 49601

The family was served by the Hitesman-Holdship Funeral Home in Cadillac. Condolences and memories may be shared at holdshipfuneralhomes.com.

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