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Col James McNabb Bumgarner
Birth: Sep. 19, 1919
LaSalle County
Illinois, USA
Death: Apr. 3, 2009
Port Saint Lucie
St. Lucie County
Florida, USA

James McNabb Bumgarner, 89, died peacefully. He was born to Ethel McNabb & Joshua Mills Bumgarner and raised in rural McNabb, IL.

Mr. Bumgarner enjoyed a diverse career, having served in the United States Air Force and retiring at the rank of Colonel after serving in World War II, Korea and Vietnam. He also worked as a farmer on his land in Putnam County, IL. James was a Circuit Court Judge of the 10th judicial circuit in Illinois for 12 years until his retirement in 1989.

Mr. Bumgarner is survived by his wife of 26 years, Elizabeth Miller Bumgarner. He is also survived by two daughters, Barbara Malaney and Sallie Guth; two sons Tad and Matt Miller; ten grandchildren, three great-grandchildren and countless friends.

One of the most extraordinary qualities that Jim possesed was that he never met a stranger. His warm and giving spirit will be missed by all whose lives he touched.

Mr. Bumgarner received his Bachelors Degree in psychology from the University Of Illinois. He graduated from aviation cadet pilot training school at Chanute Airfield in Illinois in 1942 and served as a pilot in the U.S. Army Aircorps in World War II. Upon his return from the war, he received his J.D. from the University Of Illinois College Of Law in 1946. James practiced law in McNabb, Rantoul and Mattoon before being recalled to active duty in the U.S. Air Force in 1951. His long and distinguished military career included his service as Staff Advocate 41st Air Division in Japan and Staff Judge Advocate, 6160th Air Base Wing in Germany. James served at Headquarters USA in Washington, DC as Chief Appellate Government Councel for the Air Force representing the U.S. on all Air Force crimminal appeals. In Vietnam, James was a Staff Judge Advocate for the 7th Airforce. He was decorated on several occasions, receiving the Legion of Merit and the Air Force Commendation Medal. James retired in 1974 from the Air Force with 32 years of service. After his service in the military, James embarked on a legal career which brought him great honor and distinction. He was technical advisor to the Environmental Protection Agency in Springfield, IL and was later appointed by the Illinois Supreme Court to the 10th Judicial Circuit in Putnam County, IL in 1979. He was elected Putnam County Circuit Judge in 1980 and was retained until his retirement into private practice in 1989. James was recalled twice to the 10th Circuit Bench in 1991-1992, then again in 1995. He was inducted as a Senior Counselor in the Illinois Bar Association in 1996. Mr Bumgarner was a birthright member of the Clear Creek Quaker Meeting, as well as being a member of the Rotary International, Veterans Of Foreign Wars, American Legion, Vietnam Veterans Of Illinois, The Retired Officers Association, Retired Judges Advocates Association, Illinois State Bar Association, Marshall-Putnam Farm Bureau, Air War College Alumni Association, University Of Illinois Allumni Association, College Of Law Deans Club, University Of illinois Presidents Council, Putnam County Historical Society. He was a past member of the Future Farmers Of America, Boy Scouts and 4-H.

He was a member of

Preceded in death by his first wife Helen Welker Bumgarner, and by his son, Brian Miller.

A "Celebration Of Life" will be held at Friends Meeting House in McNabb, IL at 10:30a on May 16th. The burial service, with Military Honor Guard, will follow at Friends Cemetery. Visitation will be held from 4-7p on May 15th in the Helmer-Shields Funeral Home in Granville, IL.

Memorials may be made to any Veterans Hospital in the United States. Condolences may be made online to

SOURCE: 4.18.2009 
Family links: 
  Joshua Mills Bumgarner (1878 - 1928)
  Ethel Jennie McNabb Bumgarner (1883 - 1965)
Hoyle Cemetery
Putnam County
Illinois, USA
Created by: Shirley Bybee
Record added: Apr 17, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 35990168
Col James McNabb Bumgarner
Added by: John Heider
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- Who Art In Heaven
 Added: Nov. 9, 2016
God bless you on Veteran's Day (early). Rest in Peace.
- LTC B, USAR (ret)
 Added: Nov. 7, 2016
Thanks for all your help on our Baumgartner family. You will never be forgotten.
- Louise Taraba
 Added: Nov. 7, 2016
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