James Hoover Fette – Colonel, United States Army

Courtesy of the United States Military Academy:

James Hoover Fette, NO. 17955
24 February 1929 – 11 June 1988
Died 11 June 1988 in Columbia, Maryland, aged 59
Interment: Arlington National Cemetery


The second of two children of James B. and Hazel Dell Johnson Fette, James H. Fette was born on 24 February 1929 and grew up in the small eastern Ohio town of Dennison, where he attended a one-room schoolhouse.

At the time of his graduation from high school, he was 16 years old – having skipped two grades – and too young to enter West Point even though he had received a Congressional appointment. The following fall he entered Millard's Military Preparatory School in Washington, DC, and a year later entered the Academy.

Jim was a member of Company D-1 and earned his nickname “Kismet' from his roommates. The origin of this name is shrouded in great mystery. Known for his sense of humor and caring ways, he was fond of all his Academy classmates. When his roommates Ed Bell and Harold “Red” McCoy died, he was deeply grief stricken by their passing.

Commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Signal Corps upon graduation, Jim and his new bride, high school sweetheart Margaret A. “Peg” Arthurs, of Uhrichsville, Ohio, headed off to his first duty station in Ft. Lewis, Washington.

Throughout his 23-year military career, Jim served at 12 stateside duty sites, 3 years in Germany (1952-54), 18 months in Korea (1962-63), and a year in Viet Nam.

He was twice stationed at the Pentagon, first before his Viet Nam tour working in the War Room and next following his return from the Viet Nam conflict.

His last duty assignment before retirement as colonel in 1973 was at Ft. Sam Houston, San Antonio, Texas. During his career, he earned the Legion of Merit and Oak Leaf Cluster.

Upon retirement, Jim worked for Computer Sciences Corporation in El Segundo, California, and later was given the assignment to open a satellite office in Beltsville, Maryland. He left Computer Sciences Corporation in 1986.

Jim died on 11 June 1988 after a brief stay at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Jim was survived by his wife Peg, who moved to Columbus, Ohio, shortly after his death. Peg died in the fall of 1995, also after a short illness. They are survived by two children: James R. Fette, a senior marketing manager for an Ohio-based telecommunications company, and Joyce Fette Molohon, who is in real estate sales in Elko, NV. Jim also is survived by a sister, Bette Fare Custin of Wilmington, Delaware, and 5 grandchildren.

At their first duty station, Ft. Lewis, Waashington, Jim and Peg met and became lifelong friends of classmates Buddy and Ann White, Bernie and Jean Matthey, and Bob and Corrie Miller. Buddy recalls the gracious hospitality of Jim and Peg in welcoming the newly arrived Whites during tight housing situations at both Fort Leavenworth and Fort Lewis.

Bernie recalls Jim's fun-loving approach to life as evidenced by the wonderful get-togethers Jim engineered in both Las Vegas and Palm Springs.

Bob recalls Jim's highly developed technical and management skills in keeping the Pentagon's War Room computers operational during the early days of computerization.

Jim is remembered by his family and friends as a good husband, father, grandfather, brother, and friend, and, above all, a good soldier.

– His family

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