James F. Igou, 87
 

James F. Igou “J.I.,” 87, of West Bend, died on Friday, Jan. 23, 2015, surrounded by his loving family. He was born on May 6, 1927, in Iowa City, Iowa, to Gerald W. and Janice I. (nee Bragg) Igou. Jim grew up in Iowa City.

He served in the Army Air Corps from June 1945-April 1947 as a B-29 maintenance instructor, as a crew chief for B-17 and also with the 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron.

Jim attended Spartan School of Aviation in Miami, Oklahoma, and his first flying job was as an instructor and charter pilot in Baraboo. He began his 25-year career as a crop duster in the early 1950s which led to work in the aviation field in 16 different states.

Jim met Dixie Burkhart in Rochester, Minnesota, and they married on Sept. 20, 1957, in Hills, Iowa.

While working many years for Aerial Blight Control of West Bend, he rebuilt and ferried Stearman biplanes to Mexico as well as performed aerial application work. During this time, he became a licensed aircraft mechanic and aircraft inspector and continued this work well past retirement at the Hartford airport. Jim loved the challenges of repairing airplanes.

He received the Charles Taylor “Master Mechanic” Award in February 1999 for having worked 50 years in the aircraft mechanic field. He also received the Wright Brothers “Master Pilot” Award in July 2007 for 50 years of accident-free flying. He was recently nominated and accepted for induction into the Wisconsin Aviation Hall of Fame for his achievements in the field of aviation.

Jim was a prolific storyteller, and he and his wife enjoyed flying to air shows, camp-outs and fly-ins in their free time. He was a longtime member of the Antique Aircraft Association, EAA, and more recently an active member of EAA Chapter 1158 and the American Legion Post 36.

Jim will be dearly missed by his wife, Dixie; children Frank (the late Pamela) Igou and Stephanie (Dan) Hennes; grandchildren Tasha (Michael) Radloff, Cody Froehlich, Shawna Igou, Sarah Hennes and Alex Hennes; great-granddaughter Zahra Radloff; nieces; nephews; other relatives; and friends and his cat P.D.I.

Memories will be shared on Sunday, March 8, 2015, at 3 p.m. at the West Bend Airport, EAA Chapter 1158 Educational Facility. A memorial gathering will be held in the hangar from 1 p.m. until the time of the sharing of memories. In lieu of flowers, memorials to the West Bend EAA Chapter 1158 Youth Air Camp appreciated.

The Phillip Funeral Home of West Bend is assisting the family; 262-338-2050 / www.phillipfuneralhome.com.