James (Jimmy) William Crouch was born December 25, 1931 in Crumpler, West Virginia. He was the sixth of fifteen children born to Ashby Lee Crouch Sr. and Annie (Young) Crouch. Jimmy passed away November 7, 2023 at the Apostolic Christian Home in Sabetha.
Jimmy attended grade school in Crumpler. He and his siblings rode a train to nearby North Fork, West Virginia where they attended high school. During high school, Jimmy worked for United Pocahontas Coal Company in the same coal mines where his father also worked. He graduated as an outstanding student and athlete from North Fork High School in 1950. Following high school, he continued working for the mining company specifically with civil engineers making maps of the coal mines.
On September 11, 1952, he was drafted into the United States Army. Jimmy was stationed at Fort Leonard Wood, Fort Ord, Fort Saint Louis, Fort McCoy, and the Nevada Test Site (NTS). The NTS was one of the most significant nuclear weapons test sites in the United States, and Jimmy was one of the soldiers used as a guinea pig in that testing. He was an Atomic Veteran. Jimmy said the soldiers were told to put on their goggles and view the horizon. He recalled there was a sign at the bomb testing area that said, “What you see here, stays here.” After leaving NTS, Jimmy was a member of the engineer construction battalion which built bridges. He was discharged from active duty on September 10, 1954 and transferred to the Army Reserves. Jimmy was honorably discharged on September 10, 1960.
Following active duty, Jimmy returned home to Crumpler and worked in the mines again to pay off his parents’ debt to the “Company Store”. His father had been injured and could no longer work. Once the debt was paid, Jimmy moved to Miami, Florida and completed a two-year certificate at Embry-Riddle International School of Aviation which was known as the “Harvard of the Skies.” Through the G.I. Bill, he received $75 per month. He paid $70 a month for school leaving him $5 a month to live on as a student. While attending school, he worked making aluminum awnings for windows for hurricane season. He graduated from aviation school on September 21, 1956.
Jimmy moved to the Washington D.C. area, and on October 6, 1956, he went to work for Capital Airlines (now known as United Airlines) working on jet airplanes. In June of 1961, Jimmy met the love of his life Alice Marie Bachman. After a short courtship, they were married on January 21, 1962 at the Bethany Lutheran Church in Alexandria, VA. Jimmy was confirmed in the Lutheran church on August 26, 1962. In the fall of 1965, Jimmy was transferred to Denver International Airport in Colorado. Jimmy and Alice moved to Aurora, CO and built a new home that they lived in until he relocated after Alice’s passing. At times, Jimmy’s job took him to work on airplanes in Omaha, Kansas City, Des Moines, Salt Lake City, and Colorado Springs. Prior to retiring on January 31, 1994, he received two awards of merit from United Airlines for his work. Jimmy and Alice loved traveling, working in their beautiful yard, and spoiling all the neighborhood children. Jimmy’s heart was broken on December 19, 2018 when Alice, his much beloved bride of 56 years, died. Jimmy continued living in their home until August 19, 2019 when he moved to Falls City, NE to be near Alice’s family.
In his later years, Jimmy spent countless hours reading (only nonfiction), cheering on his Denver Broncos, and working Sudoku puzzles. Jimmy loved to tell stories and eat a good meal. A visit wasn’t complete until he shared a tale that started with the phrase, “Did I ever tell you about the time? Jimmy lived in his home in Falls City until June of this year when he moved to Jonesbrook Estates. Due to his failing health, he entered the nursing home in August. The care of loving family over the past four years allowed him to live independently and with great dignity in his final years. Jimmy passed away on November 7, 2023.
Jimmy was preceded in death by his wife Alice; parents Ashby and Annie; parents-in-law Elias and Marguerite Bachman; brothers, Ashby Jr. (Bud), Frank, Jerry, and Denny; sisters, Juanita Grubb, Mable Shrader, Mary Wimberly, Minnie Crouch, Patricia (Pat) Lightfoot, and Dorothy (Dot) Rabenold; and Alice’s siblings, Tom Homewood, Bernice Adams, and Ronald Bachman.
Jimmy is survived by his brother Bill; sisters, Sherry Miller, Sandy (Lud) Domaratzki, and Joetta (Freddie) Dotson; Alice’s siblings, Louise Pfankuche, Marjorie Surman, Marlene McKim, Ruth Lieneman, Ben (Sandy) Bachman, Wauneta (Jim) Catlett, Bob (Joyce) Bachman, Gary (Cindy) Bachman, and Rita (Steve) Johansen; family friend, David Osborne, as well as dozens of loving nieces and nephews and their children.
In accordance with his wishes, Jimmy will be cremated and inurned next to Alice at the Rulo City Cemetery, Rulo, NE. A graveside service will be held on November 25, 2023 at 3:00 P.M. with a final salute by the Falls City Military Honor Guard.
Memorial contributions are suggested to the Rulo Cemetery Assn. which may be sent in care of Chapel Oaks Funeral Home, 124 S 7th Street, Hiawatha, KS 66434, who is assisting the family with arrangements.
Look for Jimmy to be with Alice beyond the rainbow. Their beautiful smiles will never be diminished, and their names will always be spoken.