Retired Lieutenant Colonel James “Jim” Autrell Dooley of the165th Airlift Wing, age 89, passed away peacefully Saturday, the 27th day of April, 2019 at Spanish Oaks Retreat and Hospice in Savannah, Georgia.
Jim was born in Moultrie, Georgia on February 2, 1930 to the late Everett Autrell “Bo” and Myrtle Kendall Dooley. He attended the Georgia Institute of Technology and Southern Polytechnic College of Engineering before graduating from Georgia Southern University with his B.S. in Education. He went on to obtain his Masters of Education from Georgia Southern University as well. He married his wife of 65 years, Virginia Gay Dooley on January 3, 1954.
Due to his love for flying, in 1950 Jim enlisted in the United States Air Force where he proudly and honorably served his country in Germany, Korea, and Vietnam, flying many different airplanes. He later joined the Air National Guard where he was stationed at Travis Field in Savannah, GA and obtained the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. Upon his retirement with the 165th Airlift Wing (ANG), Jim became a flight instructor with FlightSafety International, teaching many students to fly a variety of aircraft, including GIII and GIV Gulfstream jets. Jim loved teaching others and worked for many years at Savannah Vocational Technical School as an Instructor and Director at the Wheaton Street School. He was instrumental in relocating the school to the present day location on White Bluff Road.
Aside from his military service and professional endeavors, Jim was an active member in the Savannah community, particularly within the congregation of Calvary Baptist Temple, serving as a Deacon and a Sunday School teacher for Young Married Couples as well as working with the TV/Media ministry. He was an avid volunteer, dedicating a substantial amount of time to the Gideons International, helping to spread the Gospel message. He enjoyed woodworking, making countless pieces of furniture for his family, building and flying model airplanes, boating, water skiing, and playing racquetball.
Jim was preceded in death by his wife, Virginia Gay Dooley.
He is survived by his four loving daughters, Gayle (Reggie) Powers of Savannah, Cynthia Dooley of Savannah, Sherree (David) Kemp of Woodstock, Georgia, and Connie (Perry) Sumner of Statesboro, Georgia; ten grandchildren, Emily (Cedric) Fields of Savannah, Bonnie (Dain) Overstreet of Brooklet, Georgia, Kendall Powers of Indianapolis, Indiana, Rebekah Kemp of Marietta, Georgia, Deborah (Neal) Parker of Marietta, Georgia, Leah (Blake) Harriss of Ball Ground, Georgia, Hannah (Connor) Sealock of Woodstock, Georgia, Moriah (Josiah) Teague of Kennesaw, Georgia, Michael (Tara) Sumner of Statesboro, Georgia, and Catherine (Spenser) Findley of Statesboro, Georgia; fourteen great-grandchildren; and one sister, Barbara (Harry) Oxley of Moultrie, Georgia.
The family will receive friends and family for visitation from 6 to 8 p.m. Monday, April 29th, in the Hubert C. Baker Chapel of Baker-McCullough Funeral Home.
The funeral service will be at 11 a.m. Tuesday, April 30th at Calvary Baptist Temple with Reverend Kenny Grant officiating.
Interment with military honors will immediately follow at Forest Lawn Memory Gardens.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Calvary Baptist Temple, 4625 Waters Avenue, Savannah, Georgia 31404, the Savannah Gideons, P.O. Box 14048, Savannah, Georgia 31406, and Spanish Oaks Retreat and Hospice Center, 8510 Whitfield Avenue, Savannah, Georgia 31406.
Baker McCullough Funeral Home & Crematory of Savannah is in charge of arrangements.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Baker McCullough Funeral Home- Hubert C. Baker Chapel.
7415 Hodgson Memorial Dr. Savannah, GA 31406