James R. “Jim” Strader, Sr.
Feb. 18, 1937 – Jan. 17, 2017
Captain Jim Strader, most recently of Port Ludlow, Wash. passed away on Jan. 17, 2017, at age 79, from complications of kidney and heart disease. He was born on Feb. 18, 1937, in Greensboro, North Carolina to James Strader and Elizabeth Dix Strader of Allamance County. Following high school, he enlisted in the United States Army and served three years. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, and did his initial flight training at the Spartan School of Aeronautics in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
He was hired by Eastern Airlines in 1964, where he rose to the rank of a senior Captain and Instructor Pilot prior to the airline folding in 1991. Before ending his career with Eastern, he was proud to have transported military personnel during Operation Desert Shield. Starting in 1991, he worked as a Captain for Saudi Arabia Airlines until age 60 where he served another year as pilot for the royal family of Saudi Arabia. He retired from active flying in 1998 when he went to Port Ludlow to build his home for his wife Diane and himself. Two years later he joined the FAA as an inspector pilot for Alaska Airlines. He finally hung up his wings in 2005.
He married Diane Lynn LaChance on Feb. 1, 1986. He had previously been married to Lola Anne Lett and had two sons. After leaving the pilot corps, Jim and Diane settled in Port Ludlow in 1998, where he lived until moving to Ocala, Florida in late 2016. Jim and Diane had a long and happy marriage of more than thirty years. They traveled a lot, spent time with friends and lived life to the fullest. Jim loved boating, fishing, crabbing, playing cards and most recently riding his golf cart in his retirement community.
Jim is preceded in death by his parents and his brother, Ray Harrelson. He is survived by his loving wife, Dianne Lynn Strader; son Michael Lee Strader of Plano, Texas; son and daughter-in-law James R. Strader, Jr. and Denise Cormie-Strader; and grandchildren Jazmine Elizabeth and Emily Donelle Strader, of Colorado Springs, Colorado. He is also survived by two wonderful brothers-in-law, Norm and Tom and their families, and many friends around the world.
Services will be held at Legacy House Chapel in Ocala, Florida on Feb. 18, 2017, at 3:30 p.m., on what would have been his 80th birthday. In lieu of flowers or gifts, the family requests that donations be made to the Northwest Kidney Foundation of Seattle Washington (www.nwkidney.org) or a kidney foundation of the giver’s choice. Condolences can be sent to Diane Strader, 7703 SW 94th Circle, Ocala, Florida, 34481.