OBITUARY: Retired U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. James Thomas Rich, 49, Passed Away March 28
By Space Coast Daily // April 5, 2020
Served 23 years in the U.S. Air Force, including three deployments to Iraq and the Middle East
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – James Thomas Rich, also known as Jim, passed away on March 28. He was born April 30th, 1970 in Rockledge, Florida.
He attended Golfview Elementary, Kennedy Middle and Rockledge High schools, graduating in 1988.
Jim was an Eagle Scout. He attended Texas A&M University, where he was a member of the Corps of Cadets, Squadron 16. He graduated in 1992 with a degree in Mechanical Engineering.
He was very proud to be a Texas Aggie! In 2002 he earned a Master of Aeronautical Science degree from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University.
Jim received a military commission and proudly served in the United States Air Force, retiring with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in 2016. During his nearly 23 year career, he served two tours in Korea and three deployments to Iraq and the Middle East.
He received the Meritorious Service Medal with 8 oak leaf clusters, the Air Force Commendation Medal, Air Force Achievement Medal and many other awards, commendations and citations.
He returned to Brevard County in 2016, settling in Viera and began his second career working as an engineer with Northrop Grumman Corporation in Melbourne.
Jim is survived by his brother, William E. Rich III of Laurel, Florida and his parents, Martha and William E .Rich, Jr. of Rockledge, Florida.
No services are planned at this time. Burial is to be in Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors.
In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts can be made in Jim’s name to the Texas A&M Foundation for the Corps of Cadets General Scholarship Fund.
Please sign Jim’s guestbook HERE.
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