James William Sauers (Jim) 98 passed from his walk in this physical realm peacefully at his home in Hurricane, UT on Nov. 3, 2022. He had a beautiful and challenging life with many adventures during a century that saw more changes than any century before.
His childhood and youth years were filled with helping deliver coal on his father's coal truck. After hefting "16 tons of coal" (a reference to Tennessee Ernie Ford's pop hit "Sixteen Tons" in 1955) he became very strong, a strength that lasted throughout his life.
He started this earthly sojourn in Hazelton, PA on March 24, 1924, the day Congress lowered the work week to 40 hours. He joined an older sister, Doris, as the only children of Catherine Mae Krell and George William Sauers.
Living through the depression meant that he was needed to help pay the rent on his parent's home, so he worked nights at a hotel while attending high school and still managed to advance ahead a grade and become a teaching assistant in Physics to a Penn State professor at the tender age of only 17. WWII was in full swing, and he knew he'd be called so after a year at Penn State he enlisted to become an officer going on to fly 29 missions over Germany as a bomber pilot in a B-26. He never tired of regaling his children and grandchildren with captivating war stories.
After returning from the war he completed a degree in Aeronautical Engineering which led to a respected 40 year career at North American/Rockwell where he led multiple teams in design and contracts helping to put the first man on the moon during the Apollo Mission as well as the Gemini Program. He also aided in the design of rocket engines used in the space shuttles. Retirement didn't slow him down as he wrote and published a science fact novel, wrote the lyrics and composed the music for a musical entitled "The Breaker Boy" and was constantly creating inventions along the way.
In 1949 he married Beverly Jean Heacock, a union that produced a beautiful, sweet daughter and two handsome, bright sons. They divorced in 1969. Jim married Carol Lou Drullinger on May 26, 1973 in the Los Angeles LDS Temple at the age of 48 and bravely decided to start a second family. They were blessed with two more beautiful, sweet daughters and another handsome, bright son.
He is survived by his wife of nearly 50 years, Carol Sauers (Hurricane, UT), and children Stephanie Jean (Mark) Love, Oak Park CA; Scott William Sauers, Barstow, CA; Shelley Jean (Mark) Hodge, Washington City UT; Gregory Dean (Chandra) Sauers, Saratoga Springs, UT; and Kristi (Paul) Lowry, Payson, UT. He was preceded in death by one son, Stanton Gregory Sauers and one granddaughter, Karlene Waldron. The extensive family includes 21 grandchildren and step grandchildren and 8 great grandchildren.
Between the war and other events Jim narrowly avoided death 43 times, but this world always had more work for him. His joy was in his family, his great love for his Father in Heaven, and in service to his church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Everyone knew they could call on him for help and he would jump up and come down running.
The funeral service will be on Wednesday, November 23, 2022 at 12:00 pm, in the chapel of the Southern Nevada Veterans Memorial Cemetery, 1900 Veterans Memorial Dr. Boulder City, NV 89005. It will be complete with military honors followed immediately by interment on the cemetery grounds.
An open house will be Saturday, November 26, 2022 from 3-5 pm, at 875 N. Sky Mountain Blvd(2600 W), Hurricane, Utah. This is for anyone who would like to pay their respects to the family.
Condolences may be shared at mcmillanmortuary.com.