Col. James Edward “Jimbo” Verity (U.S. Army, Ret.), left this life of love and service March 6, 2020, in Parksley. A resident of Parksley, he previously resided in Olney, Md., and Yorktown, Va., as well as numerous locations throughout the world during his military service.
Jim was born May 4, 1947, in St. Louis, Mo., to James and Florence French Verity and graduated from Cleveland High School. In 1969, he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in sociology from Westminster College in Fulton, Mo. He was commissioned as a Distinguished ROTC graduate in the Regular Army Infantry as a second lieutenant. Jim later earned a Master of Science degree from the University of Southern California and a second M.S. from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces.
During his distinguished 29 year career in the U.S. Army, Jim was a senior aviator flying helicopters, and a master paratrooper and U.S. Army ranger. He moved to aviation maintenance where he held many supervisory and senior management positions with assignments in Germany and Korea. Later in his career he was assigned to the Pentagon as the U.S. Army systems coordinator for the AH-64 Apache. He was then selected as the military assistant to the Under Secretary of the U.S. Army and later appointed as chief, requirements and acquisitions for the Joint Staff at the Pentagon. His numerous awards include the Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit (2nd award), and the Honorable Order of St. Michael Medal. Jim was an enthusiastic runner during his time on active duty, having completed numerous marathons and enjoyed early morning 10K races with his wife and friends.
In retirement Jim continued to grow his circle of friends and, while living at Fort Knox where his wife was stationed, members of the Officer’s Wives Club brought him under their wings and they eventually changed the name to the Officer’s Spouses Club due in large part to his participation. Jimbo also volunteered at various organizations to include church, the American Red Cross, Washington Literacy Council and on the Board of the Eastern Shore Family YMCA.
Jim was an avid golfer and never missed a chance to take out his boat or go fishing with the local anglers. Since moving to the Shore in 2009, a favorite hangout was the Blarney Stone Pub. He loved spending time in the Outer Banks, sharing a big house with family and friends, and enjoyed traveling with Diane on several cruises and trips to visit friends and relatives. Jim loved baseball and although he adopted the Baltimore Orioles as his American League team, he was always true to his hometown team, the St. Louis Cardinals.
In 1989, Jim was first diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease and, later, Lewy Body Dementia. He was one of the earliest patients to receive deep brain stimulation implants. This treatment greatly improved his quality of life going from near immobility to a very active lifestyle, even participating in the 2003 Louisville Triple Crown of running.
Jim was preceded in death by his parents. He is survived by his wife, Diane, of 36 years; sons, Cliff, Don and Peter (Tonya); his sisters, Barbara (Ed) Grazier and Sandra (John) Muehling; two grandchildren, Madison and Carsen; sister-in-law, Nancy (Billy) Ellison; ‘brother,’ Ron (Geeters) Isbel; Goddaughter, Chelsea Isbel; several nieces and nephews; other loving family; and many lifelong friends.
A service to celebrate Jim’s life was held at the Williams-Parksley Funeral Home Thursday, March 12, 2020. Interment with full military honors will be held at the Arlington National Cemetery at a later date.
Contributions may be made in Jim’s memory to the Eastern Shore Family YMCA, Attn: Andre Elliott, 26164 Lankford Highway, Onley, VA 23418, to Riverside Shore Hospice, P.O. Box 616, Onley, VA 23418, or to Brain Support Network, P.O. Box 7264, Menlo Park, CA 94026 (www.brainsupportnetwork.org).
Memory tributes may be shared with the family at www.williamsfuneralhomes.com.
Arrangements were made by the Williams-Parksley Funeral Home.