James Willis “Jim” McRae, age 83 of Henderson, KY died Sunday, May 5, 2019 at Deaconess Gateway Hospital of natural causes. Funeral services will be 1:00PM Wednesday, May 8, 2019 at the funeral home with Rev. Mike Snyder officiating and eulogy by Gary Hayden. Burial will follow at Kentucky Veterans Cemetery West with Kentucky State Police serving as Honorary Pallbearers. Visitation will be from 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM, May 8, 2019. Maddux-Fuqua-Hinton Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.
Jim was born in Pembroke, KY on December 24, 1935 to the late Hutchison “Hutch” McRae and Juanita Gresham McRae. He was also preceded in death by a daughter, Sheila Kay McRae Cavanah in 2010. He was a member of Chapel Hill United Methodist Church in Henderson for 27 years. Jim proudly worked as a trooper for the Kentucky State Police for 27 years, retiring with the rank of sergeant. During his time as a trooper, he flew the KY State Police airplanes and served as a bodyguard to dignitaries attending the KY Derby for a number of years. He graduated from Pembroke High School (Class of ’52) and attended Western Kentucky University. He was a proud United States Army veteran. He married the love of his life, Bernie Bowman, in December of 1986 after a year and a half courtship. They enjoyed 32 years together traveling to Florida, going to Elks conventions and spending many quality hours with family and friends. Jim became a member of the Hopkinsville Elks Lodge at the age of 21 and transferred to the Henderson Lodge when he and Bernie married. He was a past state president of the BPOE and was lodge secretary for Henderson #206 for 12 years, as well as holding many other positions on the local, state, and national levels in his 62 years of membership.
Jim was a very social person and loved to be with their many friends, talking and partying and just having a good time. He loved golfing, watching war movies, reading his Courier Journal Newspaper, watching UK basketball and the Kentucky Derby driving “Miss Bernie”. Those left to cherish his memory include his loving wife, Bernie McRae; four daughters: Martha Ann Campbell, Carol Williams and husband Kirt, Chelsea Pruitt and husband Brandon and Meagan Phillips; five grandchildren who called him “Grandaddy”: Clay Edwards(fiancée Nikki), Lauren Campbell, Hadley Alexander, Hutchison “Hutch” Williams and Griffin Alexander, brother and sister-in-law Billy Raymond and Dot McRae; sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law Sarah and Gary Hayden and Carol and John McDougall; son-in-law Buddy Cavanah; 2 nephews and 3 nieces and many more extended family and friends who will miss him greatly.
The family requests that expressions of sympathy take the form of donations in Jim’s memory to either Chapel Hill United Methodist Church 2601 East Highway 60 Henderson, KY, 42420 or Trooper Island Camp c/o KY State Police P.O. Box Albany, KY 42602.