James R. Narber Obituary

James R.   Narber
Jim Narber
James R. Narber

June 21, 1922 - March 31, 2011
Born in Vinton, Iowa
Resided in Urbandale, IA
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Jim Narber of Urbandale, Iowa, passed away following a battle with cancer on Thursday, March 31, 2011. Jim was born June 21, 1922, in Vinton, Iowa, the son of Nira (Primmer) and William Bateman Narber. Raised by a single mother in the throes of the Great Depression, Jim learned early the importance of an education, and the value of hard work and a job. He contributed what he could to the household from jobs that might pay fifty cents a day and added the fish he could catch to the larder.

Jim studied journalism at the University of Iowa. A �walk on� on Iowa�s track team � the coach spotted Jim, who was playing around with the athletic equipment, clear a higher bar than pole-vaulters the coach had actually recruited could � Jim earned his freshman numerals before an injury ended his track career. Jim financed his education with a great variety of odd jobs, ultimately finishing on the G.I. Bill.

His education was interrupted by service in the Army Air Corps in World War II. As navigator on a B-24 �Liberator� bomber, Jim buzzed the pyramids of Egypt, bombed the Kwai River wooden and adjacent steel railroad bridges, flew gasoline over �The Hump� to fuel Chennault�s Flying Tigers in China, and bailed out when his bomber exploded (an event Jim commemorated every August 13, both to celebrate his own survival, and grieve the loss of his friend and son Kip�s namesake, pilot Hershell Kemper). Jim participated in the bomb raid that earned the 7th Bombardment Group a unit citation for the longest such mission of the war. In all, he flew 47 combat missions, and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal with clusters, and the Asian-Pacific Campaign Medal with four stars. Jim left the Army Air Corps with the rank of Captain.

Upon his return from the war, Jim married hometown sweetheart Marguerite Lasher, with whom he had two sons and a daughter. Following graduation from Iowa, Jim went to work at Meredith Publishing Company (Meredith Corporation). He retired from Meredith in 1982 as a vice president of their publishing group. A magazine industry leader, Jim served as a member of the Board of Directors of Select Magazines Inc. and of the Audit Bureau of Circulations.

An avid sportsman, Jim fished when and where he could, landing more than his share of lunkers. He loved to hunt quail. On occasions when he downed two quail with a single shot, Jim invariably claimed the shot was planned to save expensive ammunition. Anyone who hunted with him at least admitted the possibility that this might even be true.

Jim cherished his wife Marguerite and he loved his country, the Hawkeyes, and his family. A devoted son, husband, father, and grandfather, Jim helped his mother stay in her house well into her 90�s. He supported his children�s pursuit of an education and was the most enthusiastic cheerleader for their successes. He attended his grandchildren�s soccer games, school programs, and recitals without number.

Jim was a member of the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Distinguished Flying Cross Society, Seventh Bomb Group Foundation, Caterpillar Club, and China-Burma-India Veterans Association.

Jim is survived by his beloved wife Marguerite; his three children, Gregg (Kathleen), of Longmont, Colorado, Kip (Susan), of Bend, Oregon, and Kristin Bugler (Jim), of Lakeville, Minnesota; grandchildren, Sasha, of Bend, Oregon, Josh (Destiny), of Aurora, Colorado, Zach (Amy) of Parker, Colorado, Maddie and Ella, of Longmont, Colorado, and Erin, Molly, and Kelly Bugler, of Lakeville, Minnesota; and great-grandchildren and step-great grandchildren, Gage, Lucas, and Jordan, of Parker, Colorado, and Londyn, Milan, and Sierra, of Aurora, Colorado.

Private committal services and burial will take place at the Iowa Veterans Cemetery in Dallas County. A celebration of Jim�s life will be held at a future date. Memorial contributions may be given in his honor to the Friends of the National World War II Memorial.





Celebration of Life Service