Lt. Col. Jimmy Pickens, U.S.A.F. (Ret.)


6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Wednesday, April 24, 2019
The Hamil Family Funeral Home
6449 Buffalo Gap Road
Abilene, Texas, United States


11:00 am
Thursday, April 25, 2019
Buffalo Gap Cemetery
Taylor County
Buffalo Gap, Texas, United States

Obituary of Lt. Col. Jimmy B. Pickens, U.S.A.F. (Ret.)

Lt. Col. (Ret.) Jimmy Burton Pickens, 83, of Abilene, Texas, went to be with his Lord and Savior on April 20, 2019, in Abilene, Texas.

Visitation will be from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM, Wednesday, April 24, 2019, at The Hamil Family Funeral Home at 6449 Buffalo Gap Road, Abilene, Texas, 79606.

Funeral services and burial will be held at 11:00 AM, Thursday, April 25, 2019, at Buffalo Gap Cemetery at 3241 FM 89, Buffalo Gap, Texas, 79508. Pastor Emeritus David Cason of Broadview Baptist Church will be officiating.

Jimmy was born in Silver City, New Mexico, to Homer Calvin Pickens and Edna Burton Pickens on October 7, 1935. He married his high school sweetheart, Joana Holterman, on October 7, 1955. After graduating from New Mexico A&M, Jimmy began his distinguished, 23 year career with the United States Air Force. During this accomplished and highly decorated service, he served multiple tours in Vietnam, ascended to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel, served as Deputy Base Commander for Mather AFB in Sacramento, CA,  and earned numerous commendations, including the Bronze Star, Air medal with three oak leaf clusters, and the Cross of Gallantry with Palm. While enlisted, Jimmy received his Master of Education from University of Arizona in 1971, and upon retiring from the US Air Force at Dyess AFB in 1980, he became an Earth and Life Science teacher with the Wylie Independent School District where he retired in 1997.  

Jimmy was an avid outdoorsman, fly fisherman, and golfer. He enjoyed spending time with his fellow veterans and close friends. He was a devoted husband to the love of his life, Joana, and a loving and supportive father to his two daughters.  Above all of these loves, however, Jimmy was most passionate about his faith in Jesus Christ. He served in many ministries in the local church, but even more importantly he sowed into the lives of all those around him. The legacy of faith that flows through his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, in large part, is due to the persevering example of Christ’s love that Jimmy’s life provided.

Jimmy was preceded in death by his parents and older brother Homer C. Pickens, Jr. He is survived by his wife of 63 years, Joana, daughter Kathleen Grace and husband Michael of Carrollton, Texas, daughter Danette Pickens of Abilene, Texas, brother Jack Pickens of North Carolina, sister Betty Cabber of New Mexico, grandson Ryan Grace and wife Ally of Mansfield, Texas, granddaughter Summer Galindo and husband Augie of Prosper, Texas, granddaughter Aubre Fouch of Lindale, Texas, granddaughter Jordyn Grace of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, great-granddaughters Kynli Galindo, Ellisyn Galindo, and Anistyn Galindo, and great-grandson Luka Grace due in July.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made in his name to The Wounded Warrior Project.

With the utmost sincere thanks, the entire Pickens Family, wants to thank, Nora Tinney, for all the care and love she has given to both Jim and Joana.  Nora was always a phone call away when Jimmy went to play golf or needed to run errands.  Nora is truly an angel in our eyes.  She is so loving and caring and truly has a servant’s heart!  Thank you, Nora, for always being there.  We love you!


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