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James Rife ‘Jim’ Wade Jr., 1949 – 2020



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A memorial service for James Rife “Jim” Wade Jr., 71, of Grace, Mississippi, will be held at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 19, at Grace International Airport on Highway 1 in Grace. Longtime friend, the Rev. Andy Sharpe, will officiate.

Mr. Wade died Sunday, Aug. 16, 2020, at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson from complications related to COVID-19.

He was born Feb. 9, 1949, in Vicksburg to James Rife Wade and Alice Clements Wade. He graduated from Rolling Fork High School in 1967 and attended Mississippi State University.

He enlisted in the U.S. Army Feb. 3, 1970, and trained at Fort Polk, Louisiana. He was deployed to Vietnam where he served with the 101st Airborne, 2nd battalion, 502nd Company E.

Jim received the Bronze Star, Combat Infantry Badge, Army Commendation Medal, Vietnam Service Medal and National Defense Medal.

After his discharge in 1976, he returned to Grace where he was an ag pilot and farmer. He retired in 2009.

He lived a wide life, full of curiosity and adventure — jumping out of perfectly good airplanes. A parachute collapse left him with broken legs and a broken pelvis, but just added to the adrenaline rush on his next jump.

He built cars and airplanes as a hobby.

He married Melissa Thomas in 2015, and the couple enjoyed traveling around the country.

Jim is survived by his wife, Melissa; sons James Rife Wade III of Killen, Alabama, and Jason Scott Wade of Grace; sister, Vicki Murray of Grace; and grandchildren Kelsey, Kaitlin and Rhett Wade.

Glenwood Funeral Home of Rolling Fork is handling arrangements.

In lieu of flowers, please make memorial donations to Chapel of the Cross Episcopal Church, P.O. Box 276, Rolling Fork, MS 39159 or a charity of choice.

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