Jim was born in Covington, Kentucky to Sylvia Drysdale Bowling and Clayton Bowling.
He earned two degrees from the University of Kentucky and became a life long supporter of his beloved Wildcats. He later earned a doctorate from The University of Mississippi (Ole Miss.)
Jim loved to fly, earning a private pilot license at 16. He joined the Air Force at 19 where he entered the jet training program. At age 40 he joined the National Guard as a helicopter pilot and later flew cargo transport aircraft. He was a rated Airline Transport Pilot and served as the State Adjutant General’s pilot.
He was a university professor for 20 years, and after retirement worked in Baton Rouge, LA for the Federal Aviation Administration as an Aviation Safety Inspector. After moving to Texas, he served briefly as Interim County Judge in Upshur County.
He was preceded in death by his parents and his brother, Lowell. He is survived by his loving wife of 40 years, Martha, two sons, Dana Cole of Longview and Andrew Cole (Holly) of Southhaven, MS, a granddaughter and two grandsons.
A friend to many, he will be missed. A memorial service will be held at a later date.