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James Richard Gaus
August 6, 1963 ~ December 5, 2023 (age 60) 60 Years Old
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James Richard Gaus, 60, of Roswell, GA, passed away unexpectedly on December 5, 2023. He was born August 6, 1963 in Watertown, NY to Edward and Mary Gaus as the third of five children. Jim attended St. Bonaventure University (class of 1985) on a 4-year Army ROTC scholarship, earning him a commission in the United States Army.
Upon graduating, Jim began his Army career and was chosen to attend flight training. He was assigned to an Air Cavalry Squadron and his first deployment was flying Hueys in Honduras and El Salvador in support of an expeditionary Task Force responsible for delivering supplies and humanitarian aid. Jim then flew Scout helicopters in South Korea doing non-combat surveillance missions. He went on to fly counter drug and intelligence gathering missions throughout Central and South America as commander of a fixed wing unit. Jim left the Army in 1997 having achieved the rank of Major and moved to Virginia to work as a civilian contractor flying Lear jets all over the world.
In 2000, Jim was hired by Delta Airlines and began his 23-year career as a commercial pilot. His career was interrupted in 2002 when he was furloughed due to 9/11. Seizing this opportunity, his adventurous spirit led him to explore the world. He traveled with a friend to Russia, then spent several months surfing and giving eco tours in Costa Rica. He backpacked through Europe, and went back bowl hiking and skiing in the Canadian Rockies. He learned to mountain climb and summitted Island Peak (Imja Tse) in Nepal as well as K2 base camp.
In 2003, Jim returned home and began flying for the governor of Oklahoma. A year later, he was reactivated by the Army for the Second Gulf War and did airfield logistics in Kuwait.
Jim was recalled by Delta in 2005 and moved to Georgia where he met his wife, Mary. They fit together like a hand in a glove. After a lifetime of adventure, he was finally “home”. His son, Josh, was born in 2007 and over the years, the two could be found on Cub Scout outings, taking side trips, playing tennis, and more recently golf. Jim helped Josh build prototypes for his Eagle Scout project and sought to make Josh self-sufficient in all aspects of his life. When asked what his favorite layover was, Jim’s answer was always “Roswell, Georgia”. His interests were endless: golf, woodworking, gardening, tennis, war history, grilling or whatever his family was doing. There wasn’t anything Jim couldn’t build or fix, and whatever he attempted, he did expertly.
Jim put the greater good above himself. He listened more than he spoke and was always upbeat and easy to be around. His calm, humble, authentic nature won him many friends and he counted a day with his family or a beer with a friend as a good day. His faith was quiet yet unshakable, and he thanked God aloud each day for his many blessings.
Jim is survived by his wife, Mary, and son, Josh; mother Mary Gaus; siblings Joe Gaus, John Gaus (Jennifer), Julie Welch (Dan), Jeff Gaus (Katie); along with sibling in-laws: Joe Rutte (Jan), John Rutte (Franziska), Kathleen Schoenblum (Joel), Ann Stanek (Mike), and many nieces and nephews.
A funeral mass celebrating Jim’s remarkable life will be held on Tuesday, January 2, 2024 at 10:30am at St. Peter Chanel Catholic Church in Roswell, GA with a luncheon reception to follow. The mass will be live streamed and available for playback at this link:
If you wish to remember Jim, you might consider a donation to the Tunnel to Towers Foundation, Stronghold Rescue and Relief, or a veterans’ organization of your choice.
Local arrangements are with the Hart & Bruce Funeral Home. Online condolences may be left at www.hartandbrucefh.com