Jim Town

[2 OCT 1932 - H1 - 20506 - 6 DEC 2015]

Jim Town Eulogies

AOG Testimonials



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Carla Snow and Jim Town
[c1955]



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H-1 Firsties - 1st Row: Brooks - Bob Strickland (CO) - Town - Crawford - Jacobs - Harris - 2nd Row: Todd Graham - Parsons - Wheeler - Rudzki - Carrington - 3rd Row: Schuh - Thornquist - Dion - Gamble - 4th Row: Pratt - Wheaton - McNiven - Longbottom - Howard (Absent: Rundle and Don Smith)



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2015 AOG Online Register
(Updated JUL 2019)

James I. Town Cullum No: 20506 Class of: 1955 Born: MI Appointment: Branch: Inf-Ord Date of Death: December 6, 2015 (View Memorial Article) History: 20506 James Irving Town B-MI: Inf-Ord: MS Metallurgy UAL 61: OrdMslCmd 61-62: TOS 63: MACV 63 [CM]: DIA 64-67 [JSCM]: J2Sec MACV 67-68 [LM-PH]: CGSC 69: Msl&MunCtr 69-72: ODCSL DA 72-73: AirWC 74: PershingPjt RSA 77: DefPropDisp BattleCrMI 77: CO HawthorneArDep 79: Ret 82 COL: D - Laingsburg, MI 6Dec15 a-83: Ob-2018 TAPS

Register Glossary


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James Irving Town

James Irving Town was born on 2 October 1932 in Parma, Michigan and appointed to West Point from the 2nd Congressional District of Michigan. He was in Company H 1 and a Lieutenant his first Class year. He graduated on 7 June 1955 and commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in the US Army in the Infantry.


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Carla (Snow) Town

(17 MAY 1932 - 22 NOV 2009)

TOWN, CARLA S. - Age 77 (17 May 1932 DOB), of Livingston, TX, passed away Sunday, 22 November 2009 at a nursing home in Lomita, CA. Burial was in Pope Cemetery, Springport, Jackson County, Michigan USA.


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Col James Irving 'Jim' Town

Col James Irving 'Jim' Town, US Army, ret., of Parma, MI, died December 6th in Lansing of complications from lung cancer. He was 83.

Jim was a proud career Army officer, having received his commission at West Point when he graduated from the U.S. Military Academy in 1955. He was initially stationed in West Germany, and from there he was posted to Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Alabama (three times); Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas; Ft. Belvoir, Virginia; the Pentagon; Hawthorne, Nevada; Battle Creek and Detroit, Michigan. He had two tours in Vietnam (in 1964 and 1968), was the Army representative to the Air War College in Montgomery, Alabama, attended the Command and General Staff College in Kansas, and successfully completed Ranger training. He was part of the contingent of soldiers who evacuated Iran after the fall of the Shah, and he received the Purple Heart for shrapnel wounds received in the Tet Offensive in Saigon. Perhaps his most gratifying assignment was serving as unit commander at Redstone Arsenal, where he took much satisfaction in keeping his soldiers under his command safe and, through his work upgrading their food and recreation services, happy. He truly lived the 'Duty, Honor, Country' motto of the Academy and retired after 30 years of steadfast and dedicated service.

Jim married his high school sweetheart, Carla Snow, after graduation, and she accompanied him to all his duty stations and held down the fort during his two tours in Vietnam. They were married for 40 years and, even after divorcing, remained close for many years. Their eldest daughter, Caren, was born in Germany, his daughter Ila Friend in Virginia, and his son Brian in Maryland. With his children, he and Carla enjoyed camping in Florida in a VW camper, skin and scuba diving, visits home to visit relatives in Michigan, and travelling across country. Because of his fond memories of time in Germany, he introduced his children to German foods and wines, and he always loved Chinese and especially Vietnamese food.

Jim was an intensely private man, who relished solitude, taking greatest pleasure in reading, especially mysteries and historical fiction and non-fiction. He was always eager to recommend books to his family and through endless hours of patiently reading J.R. R. Tolkien and L. Frank Baum, he instilled his love of books in his children, and, through them, in his grandchildren. The son of a farmer, he lavished work on (and sometimes cursed) his garden, which was always overflowing with lettuce, carrots, corn, and pumpkins. Never a fan of music (the sounds of silence, he often said, was his favorite song), he nevertheless stoically attended numerous middle school and high school band concerts for his daughters, and he was a dedicated coach and strongest supporter of his son's football, basketball, and baseball teams. When he retired, he rekindled an enthusiasm for cooking, especially bread, and his potato pancakes cooked over a camping stove were fantastic. He had a passion for the land, especially around the Town family homestead, and he liked to hunt, and take long walks in the woods with his canine companion, Rocky. Later in life he developed an interest in genealogy, discovering that one of the distant Town relatives was Sarah (Town) Nurse, who was executed during the Salem witch trials. He displayed his iron will when, after more than 50 years of the habit, he quit smoking when he turned 70. Some of his happiest recent memories were trips he took with his daughter Ila to West Point and Hawthorne, Nevada, where he had been base commander.

Jim was pre-deceased by his former wife and is survived by his three children, their spouses Patrick Perkins (Caren) and Hollie (Brian); his sister, Shirley Cooley, grandchildren Rosa, Ashley, Nathan, Jack, and Kora Town, and several nieces and nephews.

The family would like to thank Timber Ridge Assisted Living for their loving care during the last months of their father's life, and especially his hospice nurse Melissa and caregivers Kay, Raquel and many more who helped and cared for him the last year of his life, and also their wonderful cook Belinda. They were patient with a man who, admittedly, could be challenging, and they made his family feel welcome whenever they visited.

Arrangements are being made at Gorsline Runciman Funeral Homes in East Lansing and a memorial service will be held this summer. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to hospice, a veterans-related organization, or any charity of their choice.


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From: Ila Friend
Date: Tue, May 17, 2016 at 10:14 AM
Subject: Death of Classmate James I. Town Cullum 20506
To: oldtom55@windstream.net, NBlahuta@aol.com, ryancqrt@msn.com, ColJack55@austin.rr.com, TES3355@gmail.com
Cc: Brian Town , Caren

Dear friends,

I wanted to let you know that our father, Col. James I. Town (Ret.), West Point Class of 1955, passed away on December 6, 2015. Per his wishes we did not have a funeral service, but on Saturday, June 11, 2016 at 2 p.m. we are going to have a get-together and Remembrance with family and friends at Pope Church, 10025 N Parma Rd, Springport, MI 49284, bury and scatter his ashes, and hold a 21 gun salute on his property, which is nearby.

Years ago my dad told me that he had attended a fellow classmate's funeral in Michigan as part of a West Point program where classmates, when possible, try to attend the services for their fellows who live nearby. In the event there would be a former cadet who would like to attend this service, he would be most welcome. Of course, we realize this may not be possible. If a Memorial Wreath or other West Point Remembrance could be secured for the Remembrance that would also be much appreciated, though not expected.

Thank you so much for your service to our Country, and for whatever Remembrance you may be able to give Jim. Attached is a copy of his obituary that we put in the local paper and a picture of Jim in his dress whites with his wife Carla.

You may be interested in the website for the Empty Chair Memorial that is in the front yard of my house, dedicated to all of those who have fought and died for our County and our Freedoms at www.emptychair.org . If you are ever in Southern California, please feel free to stop by. Your company would be most welcome.

May God bless you and yours,

God save America

Ila Friend, Daughter
(310) 953-7732

Caren J. Town, Daughter

Brian J. Town, Son

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Ila Friend
www.emptychair.org

'Nothing is there that endures save The Spirit, which you call Soul; for that which you Are is One and Identical with God and no other. This, is the Eternal Treasure which The One God has Awakened within me, making me The Friend of all Souls, to bring unto all Souls.' - Maitreya The Friend of all Souls - The Holy Book of Destiny


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James Irving Town 1955

Cullum No. 20506-1955 - December 6, 2015
Died in Laingsburg, MI
Cremated.


James Irving Town was born on October 2, 1932 in East Lansing, MI. He was the son of a farmer and lavished work on (but at times cursed) his garden, which was always overflowing with lettuce, tomatoes, corn, and pumpkins. His early days were spent in East Lansing, where his dad introduced him to 'mother earth.' Attending grammar and high school in the East Lansing area, James found he could master the three R's and sought and received an appointment to the United States Military Academy at West Point, NY. On July 3, 1951, he and 703 others took the oath and joined the Long Gray Line as members of the Class of 1955.

Academics at West Point proved a minor obstacle for James; however, he overcame this challenge and still found time to produce the 1955 Hundred Night Show and was president of the 1955 Hop Committee. On June 5, 1955 he, along with over 400 classmates, was welcomed into the U.S. Army by President Dwight D. Eisenhower, the guest speaker at graduation. Following graduation, James fulfilled a lifetime dream with the marriage to his high school sweetheart, Carla Snow. She accompanied James to all his duty stations and held down the fort while James served two tours in Vietnam. This marriage would last for over 40 years and result in the birth of three children: Caren, Ila, and Brian.

Selecting Infantry at graduation, James began his Army career at the Infantry Officer Basic Course at Fort Benning, GA. After his three-year tour with the Infantry, James decided to branch transfer to the Ordnance Corps, with a further assignment to the University of Alabama, where he earned an advanced degree in metallurgy.

James served two tours with Vietnam, one tour with the Defense Intelligence Agency and, in 1979, one as the Army representative to the Air War College. James was part of the contingent of soldiers who evacuated Iran after the fall of the Shah. James would say that his most gratifying assignment was serving as a unit commander at Redstone Arsenal, AL, where he took much satisfaction in keeping his soldiers safe and content.

With their children, James and Carla enjoyed camping in Florida, scuba and skin diving, and traveling across the country. However, James was an intensely private man who relished solitude, taking great pleasure in reading mysteries and historical fiction, and he instilled this love in his children. Never a fan of music, he nevertheless stoically attended numerous middle school and high school concerts for his daughters, and he was a dedicated coach and strong supporter of his son's football, basketball, and baseball teams.

He truly lived the 'Duty, Honor, Country' motto, and in 1982, after 27 years of loyal service, James decided to test the waters as a civilian and retired. Among many other opportunities, he rekindled an enthusiasm for cooking, especially bread and potato pancakes. James had a passion for the land, and he liked to hunt and take his dog on long walks in the woods. Later in life he took a great interest in genealogy, discovering one of his distant relatives was executed during the Salem Witch Trials.

James's life was oriented towards family, and service. He was a loving and supportive husband, father, and grandfather, as well as a friend to all who knew him. He will be remembered for his commitment to family and service and for his positive outlook on life and family. Those that knew and served with him will attest to his great love of family and his positive outlook on life.

Rest in peace, brother, and get in step with 'The Long Gray Line."

TAPS Memorial Article


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