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Obituary for James Monroe Chastain

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James Monroe Chastain

December 6, 1918 - August 2, 2011

James Monroe Chastain Jr. (Jimbo) – Roy, UtahJames (Jimbo) M Chastain Jr. only son of Pauline (Frazer) Chastain and. James M Chastain Sr. passed away August 2, 2011. He was born December 6, 1918 in Little Rock, Arkansas. A 1937 graduate of Little Rock Senior High School, Jim enlisted in the US Army Air Corps and received an appointment as a Warrant Officer in 1943. On January 11, 1947, he married Genevieve (Jean) Jerla at Mac Dill AAF FL. For 29 years, CWO Chastain served his country first as a member of the Army Air Corps and then with the US Air Force. He was stationed in the US, Southern Pacific, Philippines, Okinawa, Greenland, Japan and Viet-Nam. Upon retirement from the US Air Force in 1966, he entered civil service at Hill AFB and was employed there until 1981 when he fully retired. He was a member of Ogden First United Methodist Church and the following fraternal organizations: Unity Lodge No.18 F&AM, Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, Valley of Salt Lake; Orient of Utah; A Nobel of El Kalah Shrine, York Rite Chapter, Council, and Commandery of Ogden; Order of the Eastern Star, Corinne Chapter No 11 and National Sojourners. Jim also served as Chapter Dad for the Order of DeMolay at Tachikawa AB, Japan, Misawa AB Japan, Sumter, SC and Ogden UT. He was also a life member of the American Legion and the VFW. For the past 6 years he served as a volunteer tour guide at the Hill AFB Aerospace museum chapel, sharing with visitors the history of the US Air Force and specifically, the chapel. Affectionately known as Jimbo, he became a Shrine Clown in 1955 and spent the next 50+ years entertaining young and old audiences across the US as well as in Japan and Germany. In 1991 as a member of a clown delegation sponsored by the People to People program he had the privilege to entertain audiences in Poland, Hungary and Russia. He is also a member of the Utah Clown Alley of Ogden and a life member of the Utah Jesters’ Clown Alley of Salt Lake City.During his 92 years of service and commitment of bringing smiles to others, he received the following awards: DeMolay’s Chevalier, Legion of Honor and Cross of Honor; a member of the Shrine’s Intermountain Hospital Hall of Fame and El Kalah Shrine Temple’s Hall of Fame. He also received many top honors at national clown competitions for Costume and Make up. Jimbo’s clowning was not just for the fun and entertainment he brought to thousands but was fueled by his passion to support the Shiners Hospitals for Children© . He truly lived the Shriners motto, ‘No man has ever stood so tall as when he stooped to help a child.” In 2008, he was honored by the Volunteer Center of Weber County and the Hill AFB Aerospace Museum for his outstanding service to the museum and the county as Volunteer of the Year. Jim was preceded in death by his wife of 57 years, Genevieve; his mother, Pauline Lewis; stepfather, Roy A. Lewis; father, James M Chastain Sr.; brother, William Roy Chastain; sisters, Elizabeth Sloop and Donna Taylor. He is survived by his children, Nancy Frazier of Milton DE and Michael Chastain of North Ogden, daughter in law, Kary Chastain, son in law, Robert Frazier, three grandsons, Sean M. (Jenn) Frazier, Patrick J. (Trini) Frazier and Andrew K. (Amber) Chastain and three great grandchildren, Brayden, Zoe and Ty Frazier. The family extends its heartfelt thanks and appreciation to the surgical staff at McKay Dee Regional hospital and especially to the Navy Neighborhood Wing staff at the George A. Wahlen VA Nursing Center for their compassion, attention and care given to the entire family. Funeral services will be held on Saturday, August 6, 2011 at 10 a.m. at the Hill Air Force Base Aerospace Museum Chapel. A viewing will be held Friday, August 5, 2011 from 6-8 p.m. and one hour prior to funeral services, also held at the Museum Chapel. Services under the direction of Leavitt’s Mortuary. Entombment will be held at Leavitt’s Aultorest Mausoleum. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations are made to the Shrine Intermountain Hospital Travel Fund or to a charity of your choice. Online condolences may be sent to the family at


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Service Schedule

Visitation Information

Date: Saturday, August 6, 2011

Time: 9:00 am - 10:00 am

Hill Air Force Base Aerospace Museum Chapel


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Service Information

Date: Saturday, August 6, 2011

Time: 10:00 am -

Hill Air Force Base Aerospace Museum Chapel


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Cemetery Information

Date: Saturday, August 6, 2011

Leavitt’s Aultorest Memorial Park


836 36th Street, , Ogden, UT,

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Timeline for James Monroe Chastain

Born: December 6, 1918
Died: August 2, 2011

Condolences for James Monroe Chastain

Susan England (born Sloan) posted on 11/3/11

Mike and Nancy, So sad to see your Dad has passed away. I just found out through the internet when I tried to email him. My Dad, Glenn R Sloan and yours were friends and neighbors at Barksdale AFB in the early 50s. I have pics of us sharing Thanksgiving together. Please contact me....


Gloria Gallegos posted on 8/16/11

I am so sorry about your loss. We lived in the brown house east of your dad in Roy for about 16 years. He was a good friend to me and my kids we will always remember him.


Carol and Dan Thornhill posted on 8/10/11

Mike and Family:Our thoughts and prayers are with you at this difficult time. Jim gave whole-heartidly of himself for the good of others. Please accept our condolences at this time.Carol and Dan ThornhillClarence G. ThornhillVictoria M. Laramee


Marva and Gary Harper posted on 8/7/11

We met your father/grandfather while working at Hill AFB pharmacy. He was one of the happiest, jolliest and optimistic gentleman that we had ever met. We became casual friends with him. It was always a good day when we ran into him at a store, event, at his work or ours. He took such great care of Genevieve and missed her terribly after she passed. We believe he is with her now and very happy. We on the other hand will miss him. We want you to know that there are many people out there like us who knew him and have you in their thoughts and prayers. We are so sorry for your loss.


Myron "Softy" Jackson posted on 8/6/11

I was sadened to hear of Jimbo's passing. He was good friend of mine and a person who was looked up too in so many ways. It was my privilege to be in his home on many occasions and on one special occasion to travel with him and Jean to Burley, Idaho to celebrate their birthdays and one of the worlds greatest clowns, Glen "Frosty" Little, as well as my wife Carol. I attended many clown functions and meetings with Jimbo, where he was always able to bring a laugh to everyone with his gift of embelishing the english language. I will miss the time we shared together as clowns as well as just being friends.Myron "Softy" JacksonCMsg Retired USAFPast President World Clown Association


Bill Brown posted on 8/6/11

Mike and Nancy and families. Condolences on the passing of your Dad. He patiently taught me how to be a Shrine Clown when I was a member of the El Kalah Clowns from 1973 to 1976. He brought a lot of smiles to the faces of a lot of people, especially the kids at the Salt Lake Shrine Hospital. He was truly a gentle man and devoted Christian and will be missed by many friends. Bill Brown "Stretch" the clown.


Brad Peterson posted on 8/6/11

Mike,So sorry to hear about the passing of your dad. I always enjoyed watching him as he performed and brought joy to many people throughout his life. Please accept our condolences to you and your family.Brad and Shirl Peterson


Joseph C Matson posted on 8/6/11

I will miss my dear friend and Shriner. We have had a great friendship for many years. I will miss him.Joseph C. Matson and Marion Matson


Cami Cottam posted on 8/6/11

Although I did not personally know Mr. Chastain, I had the honorable opportunity to visit with him in the HAFB Chapel on Veterans Day 2010. A friend and I had stopped there to see the Museum and the Chapel. Mr. Chastain was a great man, and a most honorable Veteran. I cherish the conversation I had with him about the history of the HAFB Chapel. I noticed his P-38 Lightning bolo tie and asked about it, and he kindly shared a personal history brought to him by this plane. It warms my heart to read that he was part of the Shriners. What a great group they are! My condolences to his family.


Ron K. Speaks posted on 8/5/11

James "JIMBO" Chastain's family has lost a dear, dear man and loved one. He was the very proud father of Mike and Nancy, and often shared his love for them with me. Our fellow citizens will soon bid farewell to an American icon and hero. A dedicated Warrant Officer in the U.S. Air Force; he held God and Country in the upper reaches of his thoughts and deeds. Our Masonic fraternity has lost a good man and a great Mason. A long list of former DeMolay shall forever have his memory etched in their hearts and minds. He loved and cared for them all. I can't count the number of times he told me how proud he was to have been associated with DeMolay. Jimbo was particularly proud of M.W.B. David Barron. Many a Shriner and ALL Shrine Clowns will never forget him. El Kalah's corps of Clowns shall forever remember him for: his dedication to the Shrine Clown "Sneaker Fund"; his willingness to teach; his tenacity in striving for perfection,and especially, for his dedication to the art of making smiles come to the faces of children of all ages. There are none among us, who will not recall the simple joy he derived when performing for our Shrine Hospital Kids. Nor can we forget the many friends he made and the thousands upon thousands of smiles he created on those cheering faces along a parade route. Jimbo taught me how to be a clown, but more than tutoring me through endless lectures of what and not what to wear, or how to properly "paint my face", he taught me that the most important thing a Shrine Clown could do: gladly and freely give of our time to the less-fortunate children in our Shrine Hospitals. He was my mentor, and friend. Like all of you, I loved that Brother, and I'm going to miss him for a long, long time. God Bless Jimbo, his family and all of you.Ron "Poppy" Speaks


Gerrie "Happy Lil' Darling" Farrer posted on 8/5/11

Jimbo was a great mentor to me. I have known him as Jimbo for over 30 years. I would always see him and Josco together. He had a great heart for the children and for the Shriners. Jimbo, you will be missed, but never forgotten.-


COURTLAND B. "C.B." BROOKS posted on 8/5/11

My expressed condolences to the family of James "Jimbo" Chastain. Jimbo was a great mason, more especially a great Shriner. He lived and loved the Shrine and being a Shrine-Clown. He almost had me convinced to be a clown, but the "War Paint" had me bothered, so I became a Oriental Band member instead. To this day, I regret not taking his advice and following his leadership to become a clown. "JIMBO" will be sorely missed by the Masons,as well as the Shriners. Love You My Brother!


Melissa Faulkner posted on 8/5/11

We knew Jimbo through Nathan Mazer. Jimbo referred my daughter, Gabby to Shriner's Hospital. Gabby was born without a right hand. God Bless You.


Harriet Mazer posted on 8/5/11

Dear Jimbo, I will miss your kind and generous presence at the Chapel when I visit. You were so kind to me when my dad and your good friend, Nathan, passed away. Your lovely remebrance of him on Memorial Day was heartfelt and appreciated.You will be missed by the many volunteers at the Museum and Chapel as well as the visitors like me.Rest in Peace, Jimbo. You were a wonderful friend.


Wanza I. Sansone posted on 8/5/11

I enjoyed working with Jim at Hill AFB from June 1976 to Oct 1978. I also lived in Roy from 1976 until June 2007, so I enjoyed visiting with Jim whenever our paths crossed around town or on the base. He was a fine gentleman! Heaven will be blessed.


Bill and Bettie Powell posted on 8/5/11

Peace be with you dear friend and brother. Bettie and I have known you for many years and we will miss your cheerful greeting and friendship.


Mike Hurst posted on 8/5/11

I first met Jimbo in January of 1992. I was 16 and had decided to try clowning. He, along with Joe "Josco" Stegen taught me everything they knew about the circus and clowning. Jimbo taught me make-up, balloons and clown history, as well as helping me design the first clown make-up I wore. I clowned many times with Jimbo over the years and enjoyed every minute of it. He referred to me his "protege." He was a truely great man and will be missed by many. My three children have got to know and love him. It was a privilege to know him. I appreciate everything he taught and shared with me for nearly 20 years.


Pat "padycake" Crosland posted on 8/4/11

My fondest memory was when Jimbo and Jean moved out of their home I tried to be there to help .. but it seamed to be a lesson in listing Jimbo would pull out a treasure…. that came with a story … what lovly things he would say about his clowning and the love that he had for the art I am the proud owner of a hand painted suitcase that bares his name proudly it sits high on my shelf and will remain there in his memory . Jimbo you are truly an inspiration to do the best you can and to continue to always be better … your whit and wisdom will truly be missed . PEACE be with you all at this time of loss .


Bill WYnne posted on 8/4/11

Jim,I can't believe you left us, it was kinda sudden but it something we all must do eventually. I remember we met online. You of the 36th Photo Recon Sq, and me of the 26th Photo Recon Sq. Sister Squadrons of 6th Photo Recon Group. We were there together on Okinawa when the A- bombs were dropped. We both knew how lucky we were that we didn't have to invade Japan. Though we didn't know each other then we went our seperate ways. You, a life a Warrent Officer in the Air Force and me as a civilian photographer and only to meet a few years ago. What a wonderful break for me that me. We were both aerial photograpers in the war. We enjoyed reminiscing about aerial cameras, our days overseas, things that happened and Smoky my dog mascot of the 26th Photo. Always cheerfiul it was such a pleasure to be corresponding with you. I have been missing you Jimbo, and you are in my heart forever. I salute sir, as the true gentleman you are.Bill Wynne


Lisa Williams posted on 8/4/11

Andy and Amber,I am so sorry for your loss. You and your family are in my prayers during this season of grief. God bless and much love,Lisa, Bryan, and kids


Gerry Kersey posted on 8/4/11

I met Jimbo in connection with a web site I have that honors veterans of the 3rd Bomb Group . He is probably one of the most inspirational I have ever met. Even though Jim has passed from us, his positive nature and friendship will remain. I have a story page dedicated to Jim on the web site. Kersey


Donna Rhead posted on 8/4/11

I had my picture taken with Jimbo and Billie at the Shriner's Circus at the Ogden Rodeo Stadium back in '87 or '88. They both were so much fun to be around. I still have the picture. Rest in Peace dear Jimbo the clown, you will be missed. Now you can clown around for Jesus


Luann Lyon posted on 8/4/11

Love You, Love You, Miss You.....


Denise Carlson posted on 8/4/11

Jimbo will be missed by myself and all the members of the United Methodist Church. He accomplished so much during his lifetime and was a such happy, positive spirit. My husband and I enjoyed the tour and history lesson of the Hill AFB Chapel. I will miss him. Our prayers are with his family as they celebrate his life.


Butch and Vicki Edwards-Hicks posted on 8/4/11

I am so sorry that we cannot pay the appropriate tribute to Monroe by attending his services. Our hearts and love are with you.