James N. Mahle, 75, Batesville, died Friday, Feb. 15, 2013, at St. Francis Hospital, Indianapolis.
Born July 25, 1937, in Dayton, Ohio, he was the son of Josephine (Ruz) and James C. Mahle. He married Mary Jo Walke June 29, 1968, at St. Catholic Louis Church, Batesville.
Jim was a pilot for Hillenbrand Industries for 39 years before retiring. He was a member of St. Louis Catholic Church, Knights of Columbus Council 1461, the Civil Air Patrol, Experimental Aircraft Association and Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association. During his retirement, he a volunteer for the National Museum of the United States Air Force located at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton, Ohio.
While Jim had many interests, he was very passionate about flying and his German heritage.
The corporate pilot also had his own airplane. When he wasn’t flying, he was happily tinkering, repairing, improving on it or hanging out with other aviation enthusiasts. The Cincinnati Germania Society member was a regular attendee of not only its yearly festival, but the two other annual German festivals held in Cincinnati, enjoying the food, drink, music and merriment. After retiring and all those years of traveling, he still liked to travel. He and Mary Jo took memorable trips to the British Isles, Thailand and, of course, Germany, to which he said “he’d go back again without hesitation.”
Jim also loved to be with friends. For 30 years, Jim and Mary Jo have hosted a Labor Day block party for their neighbors, complete with food and fireworks. Never completely letting go of the little boy in him, he loved fireworks and in his opinion any occasion was a good time for them.
Along with German fare, he also had a fondness for spicy foods. His homemade chili would sometimes provoke a contest or a dare to see who could eat the most before the heat became too intense. Jim was also a fan of old movies and the Turner Classic Movie Channel. Two of his favorites sayings were “Spare no expense” and “It only costs a little more to fly first class.”
He is survived by his wife; daughter Sara Drabik, Cincinnati; son Robert Mahle, Mount Vernon, Ohio; and one grandchild.
He was preceded in death by his parents.
Visitation is Wednesday, Feb. 20, from 4-7 p.m. at Weigel Funeral Home. Funeral services are at 10 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 21, at St. Louis Catholic Church with the Rev. Randy Summers officiating. Burial will follow in the church cemetery. The family requests memorials to the Phi Beta Psi Sorority Cancer Research Fund or St. Louis School.