James Richard Acreback

james acreback
James Richard Acreback was born on October 1, 1944 in Poplar Bluff, Missouri. He attended Fredericktown High School where he served as captain of the football team and graduated in 1962. He then attended Southeast Missouri State University where he was a Pi Kappa Alpha, graduating with a math degree in 1967. He later earned a master's degree in Industrial Management. In 1967, he attended Officer Candidate School in Quantico and married Donna Shew, his college sweetheart. He also attended Naval Flight School in Pensacola before heading to Vietnam. A highly decorated Vietnam veteran, Jim's bravery earned him a Purple Heart, Distinguished Flying Cross and Legion of Merit, in addition to many other awards too numerous to list. He was severely wounded by enemy fire, but survived, despite the doctor's prognosis. He served as a maintenance officer and was proud to earn the 5,000 hour aviation safety award. Most of his flight time was spent in Hueys, Cobras and OV- 10s. With approximately 6,000 flight hours, only he knows where he's been. Jim loyally served his country for 23 years as a Marine aviator before retiring from the military as a Colonel. He then worked for Dalfort Aviation and Bell Helicopter before officially retiring. His retirement years were filled with fishing in bass tournaments, restoring his ‘52 Oldsmobile, taking his sons-in-law turkey hunting, taking his grandkids fishing, spoiling his dogs, and fixing just about anything for anyone. Jim loved tools and he had a specific tool for everything. He was an unashamed follower of Jesus and an active member of First Baptist Church of Arlington for 30 years. He served as his Sunday School's department director for over 15 years and started a weekly men's prayer breakfast. He was an avid supporter of Mission Arlington and enjoyed refurbishing kids' bikes for the Christmas Store. Everywhere he went, he shared his good nature and humor with those he encountered. He was true to his word. He went above and beyond the call of duty in every task he undertook. He loved the Lord, his family, his friends, and his country. Jim was one of the Marines' few good men, and more importantly, he was one of God's good men. Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:31

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  1. My sincere condolences to the family. Jim was a fine man and a great Marine. I enjoyed working with him over many years at Bell.Semper Fi !

  2. So sorry to hear about Jim’s passing. He was a great boss at Bell and I enjoyed being part of his V-22 team back in the mid 90s. He could always find a way to make the team laugh and bond together even in the most stressful of times. I wish peace and light to Donna and his daughters. He spoke so highly of all of you.

  3. Donna and Family,
    The passing of our friend Jim is a tremendous loss to our church family, his circle of many friends, and to a great family.
    Jim was known for his bright and witty personality, but there is so much more than that to Jim.
    When we think of Jim, we think of a man of God and faith that you could trust to lift your spirit and make you feel “fabulous” even when you were down.
    He was in the tradition of the South, our great nation and the military that we loved , a man of his word, a man of character, and a man that cared for others above self. He was a proud and honored warrior for freedom.
    Over the eighteen years that we knew each other, whether on a fishing trip to Alaska with our buddy Tommy Hurt, or just talking about family, church and military matters : JIM WAS BIGGER THAN LIFE.
    He made things better for everyone and always a lot more fun.
    He was kind to people when it mattered most and gave helpful advice when it was needed most.
    I know that Jim did this for my family after the sudden and tragic loss of our son. When it mattered most, his kindness and help were there for us.

    He is and will be sorely missed.

    With faith, hope, and love,
    Ron and Jan Murrell

  4. I worked with Jim a lot of years in the 90’s at Bell Helicopter and had the utmost respect for him. My wife and I are so sorry for his loss…but we know he is heaven. Will continue to pray the family.

    Jimmy Woods

  5. My condolences to the Acreback family..Jim was a very energetic person and his energy was contagious at Bell. Very positive and in true Marine form, I knew I could always count on him to make the right decision. He managed NPDC in exemplary fashion and he always had his employees best interest on the top of the list. Hope to see you again someday.

  6. I meet Jim at the North Texas Oldsmobile Club Zone show in Granbury in April 2015. He had his beautiful 52 Olds there. I was about two cars over and I have a pretty nice car. He came over to me and said “you know you ought to be ashamed of showing that old car”. We were immediate friends and enjoyed a couple more outings with Jim and his lovely wife. He was one of those people I looked forward to seeing and I wish I had known him longer. I know all of your hearts are heavy but what great memories you all must have. God bless all of you.

  7. I met Jim at the funeral of his brother, Chuck. I was engaged to Chuck and had met him at USNA. Chuck’s roommate Bob Schulz married my sister Vicky. I wish I had recontacted Jim . I am in awe of his life and know Chuck watched over him.

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