James “Jim” Monroe Yeager, a resident of Huntsville, died Saturday morning in a Huntsville hospital. He was 71.The family will receive friends at Laughlin Funeral Home from 4 to 6 p.m. Sunday. Funeral services will be 11:00 a.m. Monday, at Weatherly Heights Baptist Church with Dr. David Freeman and the Rev. Ira Laney officiating. Burial will follow Tuesday at 1:00 p.m., in the New Live Oak Cemetery, Selma, Alabama. Laughlin Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements. Mr. Yeager was born in Brent, Alabama, and spent most of his childhood in Houston County, Alabama. He was the son of the late James “JG” and Virginia Yeager. After completing a BS Degree in Agricultural Engineering at Auburn University in 1959, Jim completed a tour with the United States Air Force and then began working in the agricultural industry with John
Blue and Lilliston; one of his significant accomplishments while working in the this industry was to design an advanced peanut combine that set the standard for peanut
combines for a number of years. Moving from the agricultural industry to the space industry, Jim worked with several different companies including Teledyne Brown
Engineering and Rockwell International that were involved in various aspects of the U. S. space program. His final job in the space program was as a liquid rocket propulsion engineer with United Space Alliance specializing in test, design, and safety. Throughout his career in the space industry, he was highly respected by NASA and his co-workers and was the recipient of the prestigious Snoopy award. Following retirement, Mr. Yeager became a global warming activist. He never had the slightest doubt that the world is experiencing global warming due to man’s adding CO2 to the air, and he lectured on the subject whenever he could. Jim can be remembered for a number of things. He loved people, and he never met a stranger. He was generous to a fault, giving to his family, his friends, his church, and his community. Doing a job well was extremely important to him, and he appreciated the opportunity to contribute to the space propulsion field. He enjoyed engineering work and what he could produce because of his knowledge of engineering. Farming was an early and lasting interest; he had a strong sense of the value of farming to the people of Alabama. This sense of the value of farming motivated him
during his work in the agricultural industry and, after retirement, in his efforts to develop alternative fuels because of his conviction that the alternative fuels would greatly benefit farming. Jim prided himself in being a logical thinker, and would definitely want to be remembered as a man who had not checked his brain at the door. Late in life, he developed a keen interest in golf and thoroughly enjoyed playing whenever he had an opportunity. He was preceded in death by his first wife of 30 years Jane Cunningham Yeager, the mother of his two children. Surviving relatives include his wife, Patsy Calvert (Sumlin) Yeager of Huntsville; one daughter, Suzanne Achgill and husband, Bob Achgill, of Hadera, Israel and Texas; a son, Steve Yeager and wife, Paula Yeager, of Madison; a stepdaughter, Cristi Owen and husband, Bobby, of Prattville; brothers, John Yeager and wife, Starla Yeager, of Kinsey, Joe Yeager, of Kinsey, and Jack Yeager and wife, Lorrie Yeager, of Greenville, South Carolina; four grandchildren, Merinda, Dustin, and Amber Achgill, and Brandon Yeager; two step grandchildren, Wellesley and Cafferty Owen; and several nieces and nephews.