|Birth: ||Mar. 20, 1926|
|Death: ||May 2, 2010|
Saint Clair Shores
James W. Etherton was a fixture in Dearborn and St. Clair Shores Memorial Day parades as chapter chairman of the Army's 82nd Airborne Division.
He enjoyed celebrating his military background, his daughter Laura Zaviski said.
"Even with his health ... he marched all the way," she said.
Mr. Etherton, of St. Clair Shores, died Sunday, May 2, 2010, from asbestosis, the result of his years working as a cement mason. He was 84.
Born March 20, 1926, in Eldorado, Ill., Mr. Etherton attended school until the eighth grade. After his parents divorced, he moved to Hazel Park as a teen to live with his father. In 1944, Mr. Etherton enlisted in the Army Airborne during World War II and served as a paratrooper from 1944-46.
Shortly after enlisting in the Army, Mr. Etherton married Alexis Hearst from West Virginia. The couple had a daughter, Nelma, and later divorced.
In 1952, Mr. Etherton married Theo Marks, to whom he was married for 58 years.
Mr. Etherton worked as a bricklayer until he retired in 2009.
Zaviski said her father would take the family on spontaneous trips to Chicago. He also enjoyed fishing. At the age of 77 he went skydiving with Zaviski's husband, Phillip, and one of her sons.
Mr. Etherton was the chapter chairman of the 82nd Airborne Division, one of the largest chapters the United States, for 34 years. He was the longest serving chairman of any division in the country, according to Zaviski. He took pride in being a paratrooper, she said, and he helped other areas start their own chapters, including Lansing and his hometown of Eldorado, Zaviski said
"He only went to the eighth grade, but he rubbed shoulders with generals," she said. "He was a humble, good man."
In addition to his wife and daughters, Mr. Etherton is survived by grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great grandchildren. A son, James Joseph Etherton, preceded him in death.
James Joseph Etherton*
Cadillac Memorial Gardens-East
Created by: James Myers
Record added: May 15, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 52406615