Vail Daily obituary: Jim Driver, 1933-2012 |

Vail Daily obituary: Jim Driver, 1933-2012

James H. “Jim” Driver, 78, of Eagle, passed away Monday at South Hampton Place in Columbia, Mo., after a brief illness. An avid Broncos fan, he abhorred Manning and evidently wanted out before a deal was done.

A service is planned for late May at Jim’s favorite place on Earth, the “Big Rock” at Sylvan Lake’s Yeoman Park in Eagle.

Mr. Driver was born June 20, 1933, in Humboldt, Tenn., to Marshall Wm. and Ida Frances Hill Driver. He graduated from Central High School in Helena, Ark., in 1951 and enlisted in the Navy, serving as a staff photographer during the Korean War. Upon his return to the States, Jim enrolled at Santa Clara Community College in Sunnyvale, Calif. However, deciding the curriculum was too liberal, Jim transferred to the University of Missouri, where he earned a degree in anthropology.

After marrying Margaret Odle of St. Louis in 1959, Jim rejoined the Navy as a naval flight officer (aviation navigator), based at the Naval Air Station in Pensacola, Fla., and later at Moffett Field in California. In 1964, the Drivers settled in Columbia, where Jim joined the Naval Reserves and went to work for Rodney Smith Tree Service. He later opened a Pizza Inn franchise in downtown Columbia. Jim also owned and operated Aerial Services LTD, an aerial photography and banner-towing business, during the 1970s.

After retiring from the Naval Reserves with a rank of lieutenant commander, Jim moved to Colorado and worked as an air traffic control specialist in Denver and then finally in his beloved Eagle. In Colorado, Jim eagerly took up skiing and skating; in his spare time, he enjoyed teaching children to ice skate. He also loved camping and stargazing in the beautiful Rockies with his Mensa friends and participating in archaeological digs in Utah. Jim especially loved helping out with the shelter dogs and cats at the Humane Society in Eagle.

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Jim is survived by his brother, Marshall Driver of Little Rock, Ark.; his daughters, Kathy Jacobson of Lexington, Ky., and Rosie Gerding and her husband, Bob, of Columbia; and his grandchildren, Ben Jacobson of Atlanta, and Maggy Rhein of Madison, Wis.

He was preceded in death by his parents and two brothers.

In lieu of flowers, contributions are suggested to the Eagle Valley Humane Society,, or the Eagle Valley Public Library,

Online condolences for the family may be left at

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