James D. Robertson, 90, Air Force officer, active Mason
James D. Robertson, 90 of Ridgefield passed away after a brief illness at Danbury Hospital August 15, 2012.
Born on September 30, 1921 in Darlington, Missouri to parents James D. and Lucy Hager Robertson, he spent his formative years in the small town of Gentryville, Missouri. Today Gentryville is listed as one of America’s Ghost Towns. The town still hosts annual picnics which he enjoyed attending.
After graduating Valedictorian from high school Jim taught school in a one room school house in Gentryville. At the age of 21 he got a job working in a shipyard before going into military service in April of 1942. Jim attended basic training in Florida. He was sent to Yale University for Aircraft Maintenance Training. Five months later he was commissioned to 2nd Lieutenant in the Army Air Corps.
Following several assignments in the US, there were overseas assignments in Cairo, Egypt, Tehran, Iran, and an airfield in Algeria. Jim had wanted to fly but perforated ear drums hampered his dream.
Returning to the states in 1946, his career field was changed to Counter Intelligence Corps. In 1947 he went to the Army Language School in Monterey, California to study Japanese (Ni Hon Go) which, even in his later years, he still was speaking. After being stationed 3 years in Japan for the U.S Air Force in 1947 he was assigned to the Air Force Office of Special Investigation (OSI) .
While attending school in Washington D.C. at an Officer’s Club he met his future bride Thelma and was married in 1952. The Air Force sent him to attend school at the University of California at Berkeley under the Institute of Technology Program. He graduated in 2 years with a degree in International Economics.
After various assignments in the US and Hawaii where 3 children were born his next assignment was in Manhattan, setting up a home on Staten Island. Moving to Connecticut he continued his New York commute before retiring from the Air Force 25 years later. He retired as a Lt Colonel.
He obtained his first job through contacts in the Air Force at Perkin Elmer as a Security Officer in Danbury, CT. He investigated employees for Government contracts and was part of the Hubble Space Telescope Mirror and its safe transport. He retired in 1986 from Perkin Elmer.
Jim was an avid sports fan. He loved college basketball and baseball. He loved the Mets, following them since the days of Casey Stengel. He played on a military hardball team as a 2nd baseman and was a pitcher on a slow-pitch softball team. He also coached little league, was a Cub Scout leader, was an avid bowler and played on many leagues. In his later years he enjoyed golfing with the Ridgefield Men’s Club.
He joined the Masonic Fraternity in South Dakota in 1953 and held many stations throughout his Masonic travels. He was Past Master of Jerusalem Lodge #49 in Ridgefield CT. in 1979 and 1988 and he was past District Deputy of District 1A. After serving in many affiliations of the Masonic Order, 50 years later he received the prestigious Pierpont Edwards Award for Distinguished Masonic Service in 2001.
He was a member of Jesse Lee Memorial United Methodist Church in Ridgefield where he was very active and held many offices and for years handled the money at the annual church fair. He was also a fund raiser for the Methodist Home in Shelton, CT. He was a member of VFW in Ridgefield. He also volunteered for the Red Cross driving the bloodmobile for their blood drives. He enjoyed computers and genealogy in his retirement years...
He was predeceased by his wife Thelma Beshears Robertson, and his son Jeffery L. Robertson.
He is survived by his daughter Gail S. Slay and her husband Carl F. Slay of Ridgefield, a son, Kenneth H. Robertson and his wife, Andrea Robertson of Stamford and a sister, Margaret Ann Hoard of Anthony, Kansas.
Calling Hours will be Sunday August 19th at Kane Funeral Home 25 Catoonah Street, Ridgefield, from 3pm to 6pm.
Funeral service will be Monday August 20th at 11:00 am at Jesse Lee Memorial United Methodist Church 207 Main Street, Ridgefield.
Burial will follow in St. Mary Cemetery, Ridgefield with military honors.
Memorial Contributions in his memory may be made to The Masonic Charity Foundation of Connecticut, Attention: Jennifer King P.O. Box 70, Wallingford, Connecticut 06492 or Jesse Lee Memorial United Church 207 Main Street Ridgefield, Connecticut 06877.