James Vernon Goar Jr., 97, of Frankfort, passed away Sunday, Jan. 15, 2017, at the Indianapolis Heart Hospital. He was born in Kirklin on Dec. 30, 1919, to James Vernon Goar Sr. and Elma Rebecca (Parker) Goar, who preceded him in death. He was also preceded in death by four sisters, Louise Morton, Carolyn Keedy, Marian Christenson and Esther Stanford.
He is survived by his wife, Annabelle Garoffolo-Goar; his daughter, Debbie (Mike) Beigh, and son, Robert D. (Janet) Goar, of Zionsville; two grandsons, Matthew (Megan) Goar and Patrick Goar, both of Chicago; several nieces and nephews; three stepsons, Gary Garoffolo of Lawton, Okla., Tom (Lisa) Garoffolo of Lebanon and Andy (Leslie) Boggs of Coeur d'Alene, Idaho; and five stepgrandchildren and one stepgreat-granddaughter.
Jim was a 1938 graduate of Frankfort High School, and attended Earlham College until December 1941, when he left school, spent Christmas with his family, and then immediately enlisted in the armed forces. A captain in the U.S. Army Air Corps, he served 1943-1945 in the 392nd Bomb Group of the 8th Air Force, on a base at Wendling, England, Group Transportation Officer.
After World War II, he returned to Earlham to finish his undergraduate degree in economics, and then earned an MBA at Harvard University. Jim served the Frankfort community as a Realtor for 63 years. In 1954, he took over the business his father founded, which later became Goar Associates.
He was a member of the Clinton County Board of Realtors, the Indiana Board of Realtors and the Frankfort Rotary Club, serving in various leadership capacities in those organizations, as well as the Frankfort Development Corporation. He was a member of the First Evangelical Presbyterian Church, serving as a deacon, trustee and elder. In December 2015, he was named a Sagamore of the Wabash by Governor Mike Pence, for his long years of community service.
In his later years, Jim was president of the 392nd Bomb Group Memorial Association, and a member of the 8th Air Force Historical Society. In addition to his presidential duties, he edited the group's newsletter for many years. Along with serving as reunion groups, both groups are dedicated to preserving the memory of the contributions of World War II veterans, as well as extending that knowledge to later generations.
Jim enjoyed attending reunions, catching up with old comrades, and meeting new ones with whom he did not have the chance to serve. He was instrumental in the establishment of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force in Pooler, Ga.
Visitation will be noon to 2 p.m. Friday, Jan. 20, at the First Evangelical Presbyterian Church, 352 W. Clinton St., Frankfort. Services will begin at 2 p.m. Friday at the church. Entombment is private and will be in Oak Hill Cemetery Mausoleum in Lebanon.
Memorial contributions may be made to the 392nd Bomb Group Memorial Association. Checks should be made out to 392nd BGMA, and sent to Mrs. Annette Tison, 9107 Wood Pointe Way, Fairfax Station, VA 22039.
Goodwin Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements.
Online condolences may be made at www.goodwinfuneralhome.com.
Published on January 17, 2017