James Edgar Kniese passed away Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2016, at his home in Colleyville. Service: 1 p.m. Monday at First United Methodist Church of Colleyville with interment to follow in Bluebonnet Hills Memorial Park. Visitation: 2 to 5 p.m. Sunday at the funeral home. Memorials: In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial donations be made to M.D. Anderson in Houston, First United Methodist Church of Colleyville, or VITAS Hospice. James was born Sept. 28, 1947, in Fort Collins, Colo., to Marvin and Eva Mae Kniese. He grew up in Colorado, on a cattle ranch, where he learned the value of hard work. He graduated from Wray, Colorado High School in 1965, and then attended Colorado State University where he participated in ROTC. Upon graduation he was inducted into the Air Force as a second lieutenant. James attended Air Force pilot training at Enid, Okla. He was in the Air Force for nine years and then became a pilot for Southwest Airlines. He began flying for Southwest in 1979 when the airline only had eight aircraft and flew only in the state of Texas. He retired from Southwest in 2007, at the then mandatory age of 60. He loved to fly and had longed to be a pilot ever since he was a young boy. James married Kerry Ann Jenkins in 1969 in Fort Collins, Colo. They were happily married for 46 years. During this time they lived in California, where their two daughters were born, the Philippines, Biloxi, Miss., and Colleyville. Flying for Southwest gave them the opportunity to fly and visit many of the Southwest cities. When he couldn't fly for the airlines anymore, he acquired a small plane in order to fly and see the countryside and to help participate in Angel Flight missions taking people to needed destinations. James and Kerry loved sitting outside with a good cup of coffee (or some ice cream) and to watch God's world come to life and see all the critters come out to eat the goodies James put out each morning for them. James was a member of the First United Methodist Church of Colleyville. He loved the Lord and didn't mind telling anyone how the Lord had worked miracles in his life before and during his four and a half year fight with pancreatic cancer. James was a people person and the more friends the better. He was easy to talk to and easy to be a friend with. Being with family was very special to James and he loved to be involved with his daughters and grandkids. Ball games, swimming and playing shark, shooting pool, dominoes - the activity didn't matter as long as we were together. We are fortunate that we were able to have some special fun vacations with the whole family. We would like to thank all of his Caring Bridge prayer warriors, friends far and wide, doctors, nurses, staff, and VITAS Hospice who extended such loving kindness to James and the family. James was preceded in death by his parents, Marvin and Eva Mae Kniese, and his mother-in-law, Mildred Jenkins. Survivors: James is survived by his spouse, Kerry; daughters, Nicole and husband, Erik Austin, and Michelle and husband, Mark Shields; grandchildren, Karoline and Gabe Austin, Emma, Travis and Zane Shields; sister, Janet Brethauer; loving father-in-law, Marion T. Jenkins; a niece and her family; and numerous fun cousins will all miss this very special guy.
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