STERLING – James Clinton Wesner, 80, of Sterling, died Tuesday, Aug. 26, 2014, at Walnut Manor.
James was born April 5, 1934, in Sterling, the son of Howard and Lois (McMurry) Wesner. He graduated in 1953 from Rock Falls High School. He married Fern Rhodes on May 13, 1956, at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Rock Falls. He served in the Army from 1953 through 1956, and spent 15 months in Korea during his time in service.
He was employed by Illinois Bell and AT&T Telephone companies, and retired from Bell South in Florida. During the mid-1960s, he was a communications technician with RCA Corp. in the U.S. space program, working at missile tracking stations in the Bahamas Islands until the moon landing. Later, he took up flying and became a flight instructor. He served as chief flight instructor at Palm Beach International Airport in West Palm Beach, Florida.
James was an amateur radio operator (K9LAC) and a life member of the American Radio Relay League. He was a longtime member of the Rosicrucian Order Ancient and Mystical Order Rosae Crucis, and served as president of affiliated bodies in West Palm Beach, Florida, and Montgomery, Alabama, He was an avid reader of world history, philosophy, mysticism and science. He drove a bus for the Whiteside County Senior Center for 5 years. At the time of his illness, he was a volunteer at the Sterling Veterans Affairs Outpatient Clinic.
Surviving are his wife, Fern; one brother, Michael (Anna) Wesner of Morton; one sister, Danice Faulkner of Blissfield, Michigan; one sister-in-law, Betty Hinrichs; four brothers-in-law, Virgil Rhodes, Douglas Rhodes, Ervin (Shirley) Rhodes, and Lloyd (Marge) Rhodes; and many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents.
At his request, there will be no visitation. Graveside service will be at 1:30 p.m. Friday at Oak Knoll Memorial Park in Sterling. McDonald Funeral Homes is handling arrangements.
In lieu of flowers, a memorial has been established.
Visit mcdonaldfuneralhomes.com to send condolences.