James L Mooney Jr, 97, of Red Bank, passed away peacefully with his family by his side on April 7, 2014.
He was a graduate of Chattanooga Central High School. Jim married the love of his life, Dorothy Martin in 1945. Jim was an award winning professional photographer and started his career in the publishing industry as a boy in the 1930s where his duties included delivering papers and carrying copy for the Chattanooga News. This led him to the position of press photographer which he continued for 45 years. His career included time as a military photographer in Hawaii during WWII, several years with the Louisville Courier Journal, 18 years with the Chattanooga News Free Press and 17 years with The Times in Chattanooga until he retired in 1981. Jim has many stories from his years as a combat photographer with the 3116th Army Signal Corps Battalion as a Sergeant. During WWII, he was the first photographer assigned to the new "Mid Pacifican" Army Newspaper, and later for the "Stars and Stripes", as the Chief Photographer in Honolulu, Hawaii. During his time in Hawaii Jim worked with the co-creator of Superman, Jerry Siegel. There he covered a secret meeting between President Franklin Roosevelt and General Douglas MacArthur, USO shows by Bob Hope, Joe DiMaggio as an enlisted soldier, and a Purple Heart ceremony for Marines wounded at Iwo Jima, as well as many other stories while he covered WWII.
Among his awards was the international competition of 1949 sponsored by the University of Missouri and Encyclopedia Britannica in which his winning Best Feature photograph "My Baby Brother" was published internationally, and symbolized an early fascination with family values following WWII - before the "Baby Boomer" phrase was coined. He was also published in National Geographic, Life Magazine and many other books, magazines and newspapers. Other awards included the National Press Photographers Association (NPPA) first place on two separate occasions.
Jim was a devoted husband; father, grandfather and great grandfather, and he loved spending time with his family. You could find him driving around town to see his great grandchildren participate in sporting events with his camera in hand.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Mary Elender Meadows and James Leonard Mooney, Sr.; three sisters, Anna Franks, Ruth Harp and Ruby Camp.
Jim leaves behind his loving wife, Dot, his wife of 68 years. He also leaves behind his daughter, Tina Mooney Philpot and son-in-law, David Philpot of Dunwoody, Georgia, and his son, Richard Martin Mooney and daughter in law, Jan M. Mooney of Soddy Daisy. Jim will be missed by his grandchildren, Susan Thompson (Fred) Tilton of Kennewick, Washington, Beth Thompson (Matt) Garrett of Vilos, North Carolina, Kristie Mooney (Jared) Magee of Soddy Daisy, Ted (Semra) Mooney of Rochester, New York and Laura Mooney (Daniel) Hathaway of Atlanta, Georgia; and great grandchildren, Catherine and Madelyn Tilton, Will and Isabelle Garrett, Andrew and Ally Magee, Aleyna and Ricky Mooney and Carter and Ethan Hathaway.
Jim was a member of First Centenary United Methodist Church in Chattanooga where he and Dot joined the Yomaco Sunday school class as newlyweds.
The family would like to thank Terri Sneed and Hearth Hospice for their love and care given to Jim.
In lieu of flowers donations may be made to First Centenary United Methodist Church, 419 McCallie Ave., Chattanooga, TN 37402 or Hearth Hospice, 1800 Rossville Avenue Suite 7, Chattanooga, TN 37408.
The family will receive friends at First Centenary United Methodist Church, Kate Lyle West Chapel, in Chattanooga, TN on Saturday, April 12th, at 3pm and funeral services will follow at 4pm with Doctor David Harr and Reverend Brian Davis officiating.
Graveside services for Jim will be held at 11:30 am on Monday, April 14, at Chattanooga National Cemetery with military honors.
Arrangements are by the North Chapel of Chattanooga Funeral Home, Crematory and Florist, 5401 Highway 153, Hixson.