Jim was born on 8 January 1929 in Herington, Kansas to Leo and Vivian (Pateman) Ahl. After 20 years working as an aerospace engineer, Jim retired from Martin Marietta in 1994. He also served in and retired from the military at the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. During his time in the military he was awarded Master Pilot Wings, Air Medal (4 OLC), Army Commendation Medal, Army Reserve Achievement Medal (1 OLC), World War II Victory Medal, Japanese Occupational Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Korean Service (1 Silver Star), USAF Longevity Service Award, Armed Forces Reserve Medal and United Nations Service Medal.
He had a great love for flying and traveling. He was a member of the Commemorative (Confederate) Air Force, the Pyramidiers (98th Bomber Group) and the Military Officers Association.
He is survived by his daughter Cristine (Baugh) and son Dana (Lucy) as well as his stepsons Chris (Jennifer), Kim and Kelly (Kathleen) and stepdaughter Kate (Clif), grandchildren Angela, Amanda, Jaime, Timothy, JoAnna and Daniel, step-grandchildren Kamla, Colin, Amy, Kira, Taylor, Kara and Kevin, three great-grandchildren and three step-great-grandchildren.
He is preceded in death by his wife, Catherine, sisters, Mercedes, Vera and Syrena Elaine, brother Sydney, son Robert and stepson Kent.
A memorial gathering will be held at 5:00 PM on January 8, 2016 at Soltera Senior Living, 350 S. Alma School Rd. in Chandler, AZ.