NILES - James M. Tackett, 87, passed away peacefully at 5:50 a.m. Friday, Oct. 4, 2013, at the Hospice House in Poland.
He was born in Lawton, Ky., on Dec. 25, 1925, the son of Roy and Birdie Creech Tackett.
He was a U.S. Army veteran of World War II and saw combat under Gens. Patton and Bradley. He was wounded in the final assault on Germany and was honorably decorated with a Purple Heart, two Bronze Stars, combat Infantry Badge and several other medals. He was an expert marksman with a rifle or pistol and could routinely shoot perfect quarter-size groups at 25 yards with his target revolvers well into his 70s.
He was a member of the National Rifle Association and had an Ohio concealed carry gun permit. When in public, he wore one of his assorted Ohio State Buckeye caps and carried a Glock 45 ACP in the cross-draw position under his shirt. He never missed watching an Ohio State football game.
In the 1950s and '60s, he was a regular participant at the Howland and Quaker City Dragstrips. He held the National Hot Rod Association record for many years in E and F Modified Production and was virtually unbeatable in these classes. He was a pilot, an avid chess player and a member of the Niles Masonic Lodge.
After high school and his military service, he obtained a stationary engineers license and worked for 25 years for Trumbull County serving as the supervisor of the heating and cooling department responsible for all of the county's buildings until he retired in 1987.
James is survived by a son, James A. Tackett of Cortland; a daughter, Rebecca J. Patrick of Niles; two granddaughters, Jennifer (Joe) Christopher of Girard and Amber Patrick of Niles; and a brother, Hazel (Shirley) Binion of Niles.
He was preceded in death by his wife of 64 years, Tiny D. Estes Tackett, whom he married on Nov. 24, 1948, and who passed away on July 28, 2013; a brother, Wilbur Tackett; and a sister, Jirvil Cottrell.
Calling hours will be from 3 to 5 p.m. Sunday at the Holeton-Yuhasz Funeral Home. Private funeral services will be held Monday at the funeral home. Burial will be in Niles City Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Hospice House, 9803 Sharrott Road, Poland, OH 44514.
To view this tribute and share memories and condolences online, visit www.holetonyuhasz.com.