Cover photo for James Crouse Jr.'s Obituary
1932 James 2017

James Crouse Jr.

September 8, 1932 — August 22, 2017

James Urban Crouse, Jr., aged 84, passed away on August 22, 2017. Services will be held on Monday, August 28 at First Baptist Church at 314 10th Street, Carrizozo, New Mexico. Viewing will be from 10 am to 11 am with the service beginning at 11 am. Arrangements have been entrusted to LaGrone of Ruidoso. In lieu of flowers, please contribute to Guiding Eyes for the Blind at 611 Granite Springs Road, Yorktown Heights, NY 10598, or, or the charity of your choice.

Jim was born to Urban and Agnes Crouse on September 8, 1932 and raised in Roswell, graduated from Roswell High School where he excelled in football, basketball and baseball. He began his secondary education at ENMU in Portales, but left when he was recruited to play professionally for the minor league baseball team called ‘Roswell Rockets.' Having met Barbara Brockman on a high school trip to the Olympics in Europe, they were married in Roswell on January 25, 1951. The two of them moved to Greeley, Colorado where he obtained a degree in chemistry at the University of Northern Colorado. They had their first daughter, Rebecca, in Greeley, Colorado. Rather than be drafted, Jim enlisted in the Navy as an officer. Originally he desired underwater demolition, but the service was in need of aviators. Thus he began his career as a naval carrier aviator. During the Vietnam War, Jim's squadron was deployed for action on the aircraft carrier USS Coral Sea. Jim's flight experience included an F2-H4 Banshee, a T-33, an AD-5 Skyraider, an A-4 Skyhawk and an A-7 Corsair, as well as multi-engine transport aircraft. He also spent some time at the Strategic Missile Command at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. During his 20 year career in the Navy, their second daughter, Carolyn, was born in Pensacola, Florida, and their third daughter, Dena, was born on Guam in the Marianas Islands. Jim was decorated with 19 Air Medals, the Vietnam Campaign Service Medal, Naval Commendation Medal with Combat "V," Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Navy Unit Commendation Medal, and National Defense Service Medal. After retiring from the Navy, Jim built and operated a tennis club in Hanford, California, and became a USPTA pro. Upon selling the tennis club, they moved to the family compound in Nogal where he and Barbara continued playing sanctioned tennis tournaments in New Mexico and Arizona. Jim was often rated number one in singles and doubles in the USTA Southwest Section. After Barbara's death, Jim married his second wife, Bama Hunter Yoder in Carrizozo on June 30, 1992. He was on the Nogal Water Board, and served several terms as president. Jim and Bama led an active life of travel and Jim kept busy skiing, riding horses and motorcycles, flying his private airplane, and tending to his parents and the family apple orchard. He faithfully attended and sometimes taught Bible study at First Baptist Church in Carrizozo.

He was preceded in death by his parents, his wife, Barbara, and his son-in-law Ron Wallace. He is survived by his wife, Bama Crouse; his sister, Faye Crouse Stokes of Roswell; daughter Rebecca Lee and son-in-law Michael Frese and grandson Jason Hurd of Capitan; daughter Carolyn Jane Wallace and granddaughter Holly Nelson and grandson Tyler Nelson of Nevada; daughter Dena Marie and son-in-law Myron Coelho of Nogal; step-daughter Jana Gregerson of Wyoming and her sons Justin, Casey and Clay; step-daughter Vonnie Estes of California, her husband Robert and daughter Heather; step-son Tommy Yoder of Las Cruces and his wife Jennifer and sons Tommy and Jayden; as well as five great-grandchildren and three step-great-grandchildren.

Jim referred to himself as "a stubborn man that fears God." He went to be with the Lord during a medical air transport to Lubbock, his final flight.

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