Obituary for James “Jim” Beaubien, III

Ponca City Now - October 1, 2023 10:05 am

James (Jim) William Beaubien, III

September 2, 1948 – September 27, 2023

Captain James William Beaubien, III (Jim), originally of Ponca City, Oklahoma, flew home on September 27, 2023, after a long long battle with multiple health issues, many related to war injuries. Jim was born September 2, 1948, in Ponca City, Oklahoma to the proud parents, James W Beaubien (Bill, Beaubien Crop Duster Services) and Ruth Ann Smith (Beloved Ponca High School teacher and counselor).

Jim attended school in Ponca City, Oklahoma, graduating from Ponca City High School in 1966. He has maintained a friendship with many of his old classmates until this day. After high school, Jim went on to attend Oklahoma State University, graduating in 1971. Jim was a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity and ROTC, where he gained a regular officer commission in the United States Air Force after graduating as an outstanding graduate. Jim then went on to attend United States Air Force Undergraduate pilot training at Williams Air Force base in Mesa, Arizona.

After pilot training, Jim went on to fly the O-2, Cessna 337 Skymaster (nicknamed Oscar Deuce) out of Da Nang Viet Nam serving as a forward air control (FAC) and psychological operations (PSYOPS) special operations aircraft by the US military in Viet Nam primarily along the famous Ho Chi Minh trail. Jim served with distinction and valor during this time and earned the Silver Star for heroism, Distinguished Flying Cross for heroism, and also another for Extraordinary Achievement, and the US Air Force Air Medal with Silver Star device and 7 oak leaf clusters, and finally the United States Air Force Commendation Medal.

Jim’s next assignment after the Viet Nam war was to fly the Lockheed C-5 Galaxy at Dover Delaware in which he carried precious military cargo to all parts of the world. After a brief stint in the C-5 Jim was selected to return to Air Training Command at Webb Air Force Base, Big Spring, Texas, as a T-38 Talon pilot instructor pilot. While serving at Webb AFB, Jim was awarded The Air Training Command Well Done award for outstanding Airmanship. After this assignment, Jim decided to return home to Ponca City, where he flew for Conoco Oil as a corporate pilot. Following a brief stint at Conoco, Jim went to work for Delta Airlines out of Dallas where he finished his flying career in January 2003. Jim retired over health issues dating back to military service, which continued until his most recent departure.

Jim is survived by one son, Jason Beaubien of Oklahoma City, and his best friend Cubby, his devoted pet/cat of 14 years.

Jim left behind numerous good friends and care givers over the years, including Gary Hopple and his wife Kathy, his best friend from the Air Force Jody Bryant, his devoted mail carrier Hoy Dao, and all the good people at Bradfield Place Adult Assisted Care, Mesquite, TX, and Sovereign Hospice Services, who provided care and attention for last days in preparation for Jim’s final flight to Heaven.

A grave side service will be performed in honor of Jim on Monday, October 2, 2023 at 2 pm Resthaven- Sunset Memorial Parks, 1901 East Hubbard Road, Ponca City, Oklahoma 74604.

Source: Trout Funeral Home