Lieutenant-Colonel James Thomas Blakey, USAF, (retired) | Obituary
James Thomas Blakey passed away peacefully on September 3, 2021 in New Braunfels, Texas, aged 91.
Originally from Kentucky, he was born to James Washington and Vera Waddell Blakey on August 18, 1930. His family home was in Rowletts and as a teenager in Cave City, Kentucky. He was on the Cave City High School basketball team, attended Western Kentucky University as a member of the ROTC, and in 1952 graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry. In 1969, he received his Master of Science in Analytical Chemistry from the University of Georgia and took an additional 24 hours of instruction beyond of the MS. In 1956, he attended squadron officer school; 1960 completed the academic instructor course; 1969 Air Command and Staff College and Industrial College of the Armed Services.
He was commissioned as a Distinguished Air Force ROTC graduate in May 1952 and assigned to Wright-Patterson AFB as a chemist. After completing an Orientation Course in Research and Development Command, he was posted to Pine Bluff Arsenal USA, Arkansas. There he met and married Hazel Marie Wyatt, and they began their 68 years together.
His next posting was to Eglin AFB, Florida in 1954, where he served as a chemist, personnel officer, and warrant officer. In 1956, he was posted to Lajes Field, Azores, Portugal, where he served in the Military Transport Command Units as a Personnel Officer, Squadron Commander and Deputy Wing Warrant Officer.
Returning to the United States in 1960, he was assigned to the University of Georgia as an assistant professor of aerospace studies. Duties during this posting included teaching the four-year AFROTC program, the Detachment Administration Officer, the Cadet Commander, the Arnold Air Society and Angel Flight Advisor, and the Area Advisor C of the Arnold Air Society. Colonel Blakey was a founding member of the Arnold Air Society at Western Kentucky University. While at the University of Georgia, he helped establish the Toastmasters Club of Athens, Georgia, and was a founding member.
His next posting was to Maxwell AFB, Alabama in 1965, assigned to the Communication Skills Division, Academic Instructor, and Allied Officer School. In addition to his duties as a Wing Advisor, he has been a guest lecturer at the Air Command Staff College, the Squadron Officers School and the CAP Officer Course.
In 1969 he was posted to Randolph AFB, Air Training Command Headquarters, Inspector General’s Office as Inspector of Education and Training. During this time, he developed the concept of an ATC Technical Training Standards Assessment Team at Headquarters. He was assigned to DCS Technical Training in 1972 to establish and lead the Technical Training Standards Assessment Team.
His next posting was to Iran in 1974 as Commander of the Training and Special Programs Team, Field Technical Assistance Team (TAFT). The duties included the adviser to the Iranian Air Command and Staff College and the adviser to the Commander of the Iranian Air Training Command.
He returned to the United States in 1976 as Head of Educational Training Inspection Branch, Inspector General’s Office, Headquarters, Air Training Command, Randolph AFB, Texas. This was his last assignment before retiring in 1980. His military decorations and awards include the Meritorious Service Medal, the Air Force Medal of Honor and the Outstanding Unity Award. His publications include “In Search for Ideas”, “USAF Instructor’s Journal”, “Developing Ideas That Work” and “Analytical-Chemical Study of Wood Charcoal”, Thesis, University of Georgia.
The family moved to New Braunfels in 1976. After retiring from the Air Force in 1980, James taught chemistry at New Braunfels High School. James and Hazel were active members of the Band Booster Club, with James serving a term as chairman. James was also a second degree mason at Park City Masonic Lodge, Kentucky. He received his Kentucky Grand Lodge 60 Year Service Award in 2014 at the New Braunfels Masonic Lodge in New Braunfels, Texas.
James was a devoted and loving family man. He loved football and basketball, especially Spurs. He was exceptionally good at woodworking, making cabinets, cedar chests, tables, books, and decorative shelves, and his specialty was designing wall and standing clocks, making one for each member of the family. family.
Our memories of the wonderful times with family and friends will live on in our hearts forever and be a source of joy with loving memories of husband, father and grandfather.
James was predeceased by his two sisters Louise Farris, husband Walter, Elizabeth Franklin, husband Wayne, and brother Charles Blakey, wife Margo, of Cave City Kentucky.
James is survived by his wife of 68 years, Hazel, his daughters Deborah (Debi) Elaine Blakey of New Braunfels, Cynthia Ann Blakey, her husband Frederick Suppe of Muncie, Indiana, his son James (Jimmy) Thomas Blakey II, his wife Lori and three grandsons, twins Thomas Alan and James Austin Blakey, and Ryan Wayne Ball of Houston, nieces of James Nancy Wills and her family, Virginia and Carole Ann Alster and her family, Kentucky.
A Family Service with Military Honors will be held at Fort Sam National Cemetery in San Antonio, Texas. In lieu of flowers, the family sincerely appreciates donations to the charity of your choice. The Blakey family extend special gratitude to our dearest friends for their love and support, Hope Hospice of New Braunfels and Lux Funeral Home during this difficult time.