James Lee Mehne Sr., 95, served as a fighter pilot during World War II

James Lee Mehne Sr., 95, passed away Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2019, in Virginia Beach. He was preceded in death by his wife of 57 years, Marinell Jacobsen Mehne.

He is survived by his daughter, Lesley Mehne Fedida; son, James L. Mehne Jr., and his wife, Linda; two grandsons, Michael Fedida  and Jason Fedida, and his wife, Emmy; great-grandson, Asher Fedida; and numerous nieces and nephews.

He joined the U.S. Army Air Corps at age 18 in 1942, serving as a fighter pilot throughout World War II. Following the war, he earned a Master’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering and was a founding member of the Kentucky Air National Guard, where he flew with the aerobatic team. He was called to active duty for three more years during the Korean War. Following over 30 years of active duty and reserve service, he retired from the U.S. Air Force as a lieutenant colonel.

Mr. Mehne retired from the Ford Motor Company as plant manager of the Norfolk assembly plant. Previous employment with Ford included assignments in Kentucky, Georgia and Michigan. Additionally, he served as vice president of the Norfolk Chamber of Commerce, chairman of the Manufacturers Council and trustee of the Tidewater Development Council. He also served on the boards of the Greater Norfolk Corporation and the Norfolk State University Foundation.

He was an avid fisherman. He traveled the world in pursuit of all species of fish. Mr. Mehne served as a deacon at Bayside Baptist Church in Virginia Beach. He taught Sunday school for many years, strongly supported vacation Bible school and believed in the power of prayer.

The family will receive guests from 1:30 to 3 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 8, at Hollomon-Brown Funeral Home, Bayside Chapel, Virginia Beach. Burial will take place in Louisville, Kentucky.

Share online condolences with the family at Hollomon-Brown Funeral Home & Crematory.

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