Ret. Lt. Colonel James “Jim” Edward Light, 83, of Fort Walton Beach, Florida passed away Thursday, May 30, 2019 at Fort Walton Beach Medical Center, in the presence of his family. He was born on May 11, 1936 in Flint, Michigan to the late Edward Jerome Light and Grace Wellwood Light.
Jim grew up in Gulfport, Mississippi and went on to attend Mississippi State University. While at State, he joined the Air Force ROTC and graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Management.
Upon graduation in 1959, he was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Air Force. While stationed in Warner Robins, Georgia, he fell in love with Mary Stewart. They married in 1962, and had two children, Ed and Kim.
While in the military, Jim served as both a Navigator and EWO (Electronic Warfare Officer). His military career was quite successful, as he earned his Masters in Education from Command and Staff School and served his country in Vietnam from 1972 to 1973. In 1987, Jim retired as a Lieutenant Colonel. He was proud of his country and proud to be a soldier.
Outside of the military, Jim was an avid fan of Mississippi State sports. Mississippi State football was his favorite, and he watched every game that he could. One of his favorite pastimes was boating- he owned boats his entire life. Additionally, he enjoyed military history and collected military artifacts. However, his greatest passion was his family, particularly his five grandchildren.
Jim is survived by his wife of 57 years, Mary; his children, Ed (Kelly) and Kim (Badrig); five grandchildren, Armen, Alec, James, Jack, and Kate; and sister, Carolyn. He was preceded in death by his parents and sister, Susan.
A Funeral Service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday, June 5, 2019 at Davis Watkins Funeral Home, located at 113 NE Racetrack Rd., Fort Walton Beach, FL 32547. The Visitation will begin at 10 am and conclude at the beginning of the service. A private graveside burial will immediately follow at Barrancas National Cemetery in Pensacola, Florida.