James F. Workman

NO. 17477  .  15 Dec 1927 - 30 Oct 1995

Died in Fredericksburg, VA 
Inurned in West Point Post Cemetery, West Point, NY

James Frederick Workman's lifelong dream was to be a West Point graduate just like his father, James Henry (Harry) Workman, who graduated in the Class of 1923. Jim's dream materialized in 1946 when he received a presidential appointment to the Academy, and it was fully realized when he graduated in 1950. The same year, he met, fell in love with, and married Ellen Clyburn, daughter of Army COL and Mrs. James Clyburn (Class of 1924), making 1950 a double milestone year.

Jim's first assignment took him to Ft. Sill, OK where he had been born when his dad was stationed there. In 1951, at Ft. Sill, Jim and Ellen were blessed with the arrival of their first child, Martha Lynn. Daughter number two, Ann Louise, was born one year later, while Ellen was in Chicago. Jim had already moved to Stuttgart, Germany, where he was setting up the household for his growing family. The family soon followed, and by the time the young couple returned to the States, their little family had doubled in size to include daughters Ellen Susan and Nancy Jean. Back at Ft. Sill in 1956, daughter number five, Barbara Kay, arrived.

The next three years found the Workman clan back at Jim's beloved West Point, where he taught algebra geometry, trigonometry, and calculus as an assistant professor in the Math Department. From there, Jim went back to school himself, earning a master of science in electrical engineering as a "ramblin' wreck" from Georgia Tech in Atlanta. Daughter number six, Mary Catherine, made her appearance at this time. Jim referred to her as his little "Georgia peach."

From July 1961 to July 1964, Jim used his newly acquired electrical engineering skills as a test officer on the Nike Zeus anti-missile system program at the White Sands Missile Range, just north of Ft. Bliss, TX. It was an assignment that he enjoyed immensely.

While at the Command and General Staff College at Ft. Leavenworth, KS, Jim's seventh and last (finally!) daughter, Kim Jannette, was born. He never expressed any regrets about not having a son; he loved his little harem!

From October 1965 to October 1966, Jim served as an advisor to the social services department of the Republic of South Viet Nam Armed Forces. He was extremely proud of the work he and others were doing to build schools, hospitals, and orphanages for the people of Viet Nam.

He spent the remaining five years of his military service working once again with missile defense systems, first at the Pentagon, then back in Germany, and finally at Ft. Bliss, TX. Jim retired in 1971 after 25 years of faithful service.

Jim Workman had two great loves in his life: the Army and his family. He spent the remaining years of his life concentrating on his family. He cared for his aging parents until they passed away and then was kept busy with 14 grandchildren. After a paralyzing stroke in 1989, Jim moved in with his daughter Susan, her husband, and five children near Fredericksburg, VA. It was there he passed away quietly in his sleep in the fall of 1995.

At the foot of his bed was a large picture of the Academy at West Point, and it may have been the final thing he saw before he closed his eyes for the last time. Jim Workman was a dedicated soldier, faithful husband, loving father, and a genuinely honorable man. He leaves behind seven daughters, fourteen grandchildren, and six great grandchildren.

- Ellen S. Peppers