James M. Douglass

November 13, 2005

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Captain James M. Douglass, 90  passed away at the Sutter Amador Hospital on Sunday, November 13, 2005 five weeks after suffering a massive stroke.  He was born on September 23, 1915 in Fresno, California to James Kenneth and Hazel Gibbs Douglass, and, with his two younger brothers, Richard and Don, grew up there and in Alhambra, California. After graduating from Alhambra High School in 1934 he earned his pilot's license and embarked on a flying career that lasted 69 years. In 1941, he was teaching British cadets to fly. After Pearl Harbor, he joined the Ferry Command and later was a pilot in the U.S. Army Air Forces.  In 1946, Jim was hired by Southwest Airways.  He was active with the Airline Pilots Association; he spent many years on the safety committee and served a three year term as Chairman of the Master Executive Committee.  He retired from Hughes Airwest on his 60th birthday in 1975 but continued flying charters and instructing until the spring of 2003.

In 1947, he met and married Janet Detrick. They resided on the San Francisco peninsula until 1972 when they relocated to the California gold country; first to San Andreas and then, in 1975, to Jackson.

Many will remember Jim as an avid fisherman. While stationed in France with the military, he became interested in spin fishing. He soon discovered there were no adequate lures available, so he designed a line of swimming action fishing lures called Metlfly that are still among the most productive trout lures ever made. He partnered with his lifelong friend, Wes Ament, to produce and market the lures.

Jim was a remarkable man, outstanding artist, designer, pilot, mechanic, sportsman, father and friend.

He was preceded in death by his wife Janet on July 4, 1975, and by both of his brothers. He is survived by his four sons, James (Jana) of Boulder City, NV, Brian (Jennifer) of Mill Valley, Kent of Roseville, and Ross (Karen) of Forrest Hills in addition to ten grandchildren of whom he was very proud: Jennifer, James, Veronica, Stephanie, Bailey, Katy, Megan, Mac, Lara, and Janet.

A memorial celebration will be held at 1:00 PM on Sunday, December 4, 2005, at the Calavaras County Airport.

In lieu of flowers, contributions in Jim's memory may be made to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, 2443 Fair Oaks Blvd., PMB 223, Sacramento, CA 95825.