James David (Jim) Crowley, 93, a 64-year resident of Kingsport, passed away peacefully at Wellmont Hospice House in Bristol, Tennessee on June 9, 2014.
Born December 29, 1920, in Cookeville, Tennessee, Jim was the son of A.C. and Mabel Peek Crowley. He grew up in Cookeville, and after graduating from high school entered Tennessee Tech at Cookeville as a Chemistry major. He completed the Civil Pilot Training program at Tech and was attending an advanced aviation course in Nashville at the time of Pearl Harbor. He joined the U.S. Army Air Corps on December 31, 1941, two days after his 21st birthday. During the four years of World War II duty in the Air Transport and Ferry Commands, he piloted a variety of planes across every continent except Antarctica and had achieved the rank of Major by the time of his discharge. With another Air Corps veteran, Jim later organized an Air Force Reserve Squadron serving the Tri-Cities area. He stayed active in the squadron for eight years, earning the rank of Lt. Colonel. In February, 1946, Jim married Christine Taylor of Byrdstown, Tennessee, and later that year re-enrolled at Tech. After graduating, he enrolled at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, to pursue a graduate degree in chemistry. However, before graduating he accepted a job with the Tennessee Eastman Company in Kingsport, where his career included research and development of a wide range of chemical products. His work duties additionally included customer service and sales, and involved extensive travel. He retired from Eastman Kodak in the early 1980s. He engaged in a variety of recreational interests, including woodworking, family camping, black powder musketry, archery, hiking, and researching family historical sites. Jim never lost his love for aviation, and flew for pleasure, including aerobatic stunts, an interest his family did not share. Jim had begun building a 2-seat airplane from scratch and was far into the project when poor health stopped the work. He sold the plane to a fellow pilot who completed the construction and then flew it himself up until the summer of 2013. Jim was able to be a guest pilot in his own plane. In 1993, Jim published his memoirs, Not So Long Ago. This book has been shared and enjoyed by family and many friends.
In addition to his parents, Jim was preceded in death by his son Davey and daughter Barbara, and also by his sister Lois and brother Robert. Survivors include loving wife, Christine; daughters Carol and husband, Adam Bowling, Kingsport, and Diane and husband, Doug Hanson, Santa Fe, NM; grandchildren Stuart Craver and wife, Christine; Dan Bowling; Holly Tunkel; Liesl Johnson and husband, Chad; and Heidi Parker; three great-grandchildren, MacKian and Olivia Craver; and Taylor Johnson. He is also survived by his sister, Ruth Upchurch, Coffeeville, MS; and brother, Claude, and wife, Carolyn, Fort Worth, TX; sister- and brothers-in-law and their spouses; and a number of nieces and nephews in both the Crowley and Taylor families. The family will receive friends on Wednesday from 12 noon until the service hour at the funeral home. Funeral services for Mr. Crowley will be conducted on Wednesday June 11, 2014 at 2 p.m. from the chapel of East Lawn Funeral Home. Burial will follow in the Garden of Apostles with Boone Dam Post 4933 VFW. Online condolences and comfort meals may be sent to the family at www.eastlawnkingsport.com