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Monday, May 2, 2016

NWA Capt. James Thomas Bickley

Military veteran, NWA Capt. James Thomas Bickley
April 17, 1938 ~ April 14, 2016
News has been received with the passing of retired NWA pilot Captain James Thomas Bickley, nearing his 78th birthday. 
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Captain James Thomas Bickley
April 17, 1938 ~ April 14, 2016

After a 20-year unrelenting battle with Parkinson's Disease, Jim passed away peacefully at his home in Tacoma with his wife Patty by his side. He courageously entered a hospice program last fall after deciding that he was not going to spend his last days in a hospital hooked up to "...all those machines!." With Patty's love, care and encouragement he had several good months left to sit on his Browns Point deck, look out on Commencement Bay, and contemplate those parts of the world he had seen and those he never got to.

Jim was born in Farmersville, Texas, on a very stormy Easter Sunday, the fourth son of Haywood Thomas Bickley and Datye Catherine Glass Bickley. He married Bonnie Jean Johnson in 1965 but later divorced. He and Bonnie had two children, Catherine (Katie) Irene Thompson (Don) and Warren Robert Bickley (Sarahi), both of Phoenix, Ariz. Jim later married Patty Dightman.

Jim is survived by his wife Patty, as well as three older brothers, Eldon Glass Bickley (Carol), Pocatello, Idaho; Jerry Jean Bickley (Susie), Plankinton, S.D.; Earl Wayne Bickley (Betty), Salt Lake City, Utah; and one younger brother, Michael Dean Bickley (Laurie), Pocatello, Idaho. He is also survived by his two children and six grandchildren.

Jim was educated in Iowa and Idaho, graduating from Idaho Falls High School in Idaho Falls, Idaho, after which he studied at Idaho State University and served his country for three years in the U.S. Army. He pursued careers in the railroad and airline industries, culminating with nearly 30 years as a captain with Northwest Airlines. His major interests, besides his family, were photography, music, reading, and travel. He and Patty saw much of the world together, including a memorable trip down an angry, upper tributary of the Amazon River and were among the early tourists to visit Vietnam.

A memorial service will be held at a later date and his ashes will be strewn in the Sawtooth Mountains of Idaho, a place he visited many times and loved so much.

In lieu of flowers, you may wish to make a donation to the hospice that contributed so much to Jim's care and comfort for seven months.

The address is:
Franciscan Hospice Foundation
P.O. Box 1502
Tacoma, WA 98401.

Published in The Seattle Times on Apr. 24, 2016

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