Deceased September 24, 2015

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50th Reunion Book 

In Memory

Jim Walles died peacefully in late September at the Rockingham County Rehabilitation and Nursing Center in Brentwood, N.H. He and Carole married in Exeter, N.H., on Aug. 5, 2006; their romance had rekindled when Jim tracked Carole down in 2004. They were just as happy together these last 10 years as when they were teenage prom king and queen.

Jim was born in Malden, Mass. He graduated from Williston Academy in 1954 and from the College in 1958, then earned an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School in 1962. His many titles over the years included soldier, small business owner, director of sales, director of marketing, director of cargo marketing, cargo general manager, manager of airports, city vice president, vice president of passenger services, regional vice president, vice president of operations, divisional vice president, managing director and executive director.

He worked for General Electric, Family Laundry, Adley Express, TWA, Allied Aviation, Ogden Corp., LAXTEC Corp. and Aviation Consulting. He was the mastermind behind round-trip ticketing in the airline business. His employees and colleagues relied on him for his solid, strategic way of thinking, his loyalty and his mentorship.

Carole tells me that Jim had a stroke six years ago and never fully recovered. “We were still able to enjoy our time together until about six weeks before his death. … I have lost the love of my life.”

James C. Blackburn ’56

50th Reunion

James Walles
Life has been good, is good, and looks hopeful for the future. It has included a happy marriage to a woman that I dated during my last three years at Amherst and which lasted 44 years until her premature passing five years ago. We enjoyed three wonderful children, all of whom are college graduates, are happily married, and are the parents of my four (and counting?) grandchildren. And life should continue to be good as I am now engaged to be married to a woman that I dated during high school and my first year at Amherst, but with whom I have previously had no contact from 1953 through 2004.

My career has been mostly in aviation with airlines, aviation services and airport management firms, and consulting. I have had the opportunity to work with thousands of good people, serve millions of happy (and a few? disgruntled) passengers, and travel to many parts of the globe.

James Walles
So life has been good, and that is probably true for most of the class of 1956. I know that I have been blessed through opportunities to experience the public school system and churches of the 1940's, Williston Academy, Amherst College, and Harvard Business School. I have been blessed to learn from my parents, pastors, teachers, professors, classmates, business associates, and friends from throughout the world. And I know that most of our class has been similarly blessed. My sincere hope is that these kind of blessings will continue to be available to our children and their children in a world that seems to be rapidly changing and becoming increasingly challenging every day.