James Robert "Jim" Whatley Bethea, Sr.- Submitted for the USGenWeb by Richard P. Sevier April 11, 2020


USGenWeb NOTICE: All documents placed in the USGenWeb remain the property of the contributors, who retain publication rights in accordance with US Copyright Laws and Regulations.


In keeping with our policy of providing free information on the Internet, these documents may be used by anyone for their personal research. They may be used by non-commercial entities, when written permission is obtained from the contributor, so long as all notices and submitter information are included.


These electronic pages may NOT be reproduced in any format for profit.


Any other use, including copying files to other sites, requires permission from the contributors PRIOR to uploading to the other sites.



Copyright.  All rights reserved.


James Robert "Jim" Whatley Bethea, Sr.- Madison Parish, Louisiana

From New Orleans Times-Picayune April 11, 2020


James Robert "Jim" Whatley Bethea, Sr., a native of Tallulah, Louisiana and resident of Gonzales, Louisiana, passed away on March 25, 2020 at the age of 82. His greatest passion in life was in the hand carved, free flight, rubber band powered airplanes he created from the age of 10 through his adult life. He was a member of The Academy of Model Aeronautics, Pensacola Free Flight Team, The Society of Antique Modelers and SAM 59 Cloud Climbers model airplane clubs. He competed in and won many model airplane competition events on the national, regional and local levels. He was a Boy Scout in his younger years where he earned many awards. He later attended LSU and Northwestern University. Jim was employed by Dow Chemical, working his way up to Scientist before retiring after 35 years of service to the company. He is also credited with inventing numerous plastic compounds that were patented during his tenure with Dow. The last several years of his career, Jim worked in Ohio on a joint venture between Dow/Dupont. He ended his career as a consultant.


He is survived by his loving wife of 65 years, Beverly Jane Smith Bethea; one daughter, Lyn Bethea Brady and her husband Jeff; two sons, James Robert Whatley Bethea, Jr. and his wife, Cindy and Michael Shane Bethea and his wife, Kristin; nine grandchildren, Nick Braswell, Tyler Braswell, Kristen Graham, Ashli Guillory, Dustin Foose, Danielle Musso, Shanna Engels, Bree Bethea and Allie Bethea; nineteen great grandchildren; one sister, Margaret Emily Bethea; two nephews, Thomas Stafford and Edward Stafford.


He is preceded in death by his parents, Mable Bartau Bethea and James Elam Bethea.


The family would like to give a special thanks to their angels, Lisa Alberes, Bertha McCoy and Linda Thomas for their care, love and dedication to Jim. Their compassion will never be forgotten! A Celebration of Life will take place at a later date. If you would like to offer the family condolences, please sign the online guestbook at www.oursofh.com