Maj. James Spidel

Maj. James Spidel

Tuesday, August 8th, 1989 Monday, May 18th, 2020

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Obituary for Maj. James Logan Spidel

Major James Logan Spidel
August 8 1989 - May 18 2020

James Logan Spidel, age 30, of Saint Thomas, Pennsylvania passed away on May 18, 2020 after combatting PTSD and depression. At his death, he was stationed at Creech Air Force Base, Las Vegas, Nevada as a drone pilot, flying the MQ-9 Reaper unmanned fighter aircraft on 595 combat missions. This assignment is where his battle with PTSD and depression began.

A 2011 graduate of the Air Force Academy with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Systems Engineering Management, James received his pilot wings in 2012, training on the T-38. His first flight assignment was flying the C-130J out of Dyess Air Force base in Abilene, Texas. During this time, he was deployed to Afghanistan where he flew 55 successful combat missions, including a mission in which he landed a damaged aircraft, saving the lives of the four crew members and the aircraft itself. James’ career as a pilot allowed him to fly all around the world, which brought him great joy. He received 2 Air Medals and 17 Areal Achievement Medals for his service to his country.

James graduated from James Buchanan High School in 2007, excelling in academics and music. He was a member of the National Honor Society, piano accompanist for the chorus, and first chair violinist in the orchestra. He was a former member of Christian Life Church Chambersburg, where he participated in mission trips and the youth ministry.

He was a hiker, hunter, fisherman, skier, mountain-biker, and certified sky-diver... James breathed the outdoors. At home, he was a carpenter, model builder, and self-taught chef, indulging in the culinary arts. Gentle, sensitive, and empathetic, he always had a warm smile for everyone he met. James loved his family very much, including his sidekick canine companion, Radar.

Leaving to grieve his absence are his wife, Riley Spidel, whom he married on April 15, 2020; his parents, Jeffrey and Vickie Spidel of Saint Thomas, PA; his siblings, Jared (Meredith) Spidel of Downingtown, PA, Jonnah Speidel of Los Angeles, CA, and Jordan Spidel of Niceville, FL; his nephews and niece, Isaac, George, Elyse, and Jack; and his paternal grandfather, Carl L. Spidel of Chambersburg, PA.

He was preceded in death by his maternal grandparents, Peggy and P. Larry Fraker, and his paternal grandmother, Patricia Spidel, all of Chambersburg, PA.

Future service information can be found at Memories of James are also available to view on this site.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Maj. James Logan Spidel, please visit our Heartfelt Sympathies Store.
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Gary Fisher, Eugene and Sandy Stockel, and other have sent flowers to the family of Maj. James Logan Spidel.
Hand delivered by a local florist
Gary Fisher, Eugene and Sandy Stockel, and other have sent flowers to the family of Maj. James Logan Spidel.
Hand delivered by a local florist

Mark Adam

I only met James once with Riley whom we’ve know most of her life. James clearly was an American hero and my wife Elaine and I are so sorry for your loss. May James be at eternal rest among the angels and May his memory be eternal
Comment | Posted at 12:48pm via Condolence

Kelli Riley

My heart is sadden to hear a brother in arms has decided to go to Valhalla. May you watch over your family and friends and know you are not suffering anymore. My the family find peace in time and remember the wonderful memories. He served his country with pride! Rest In Peace brother. I will see you on the other side one day.
Comment | Posted at 03:37pm via Condolence

Norm & Darlene Gloeckler

Our hearts are so sad for you and your family at this time of loss. James must have been a wonderful, remarkable young man. Please know we are praying for you that the Holy Spirit will comfort you all and give you peace and strength day by day. May God's presence surround you.
--- Norm & Darlene Gloeckler
Comment | Posted at 10:43am via Condolence

Gary Fisher

Wishing you peace to bring comfort, courage to face the days ahead and loving memories to forever hold in your hearts.
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Memorial Flowers Purchased

Gary Fisher purchased flowers for the family of Maj. James Spidel.
Comment | Posted at 11:15pm via Floral Arrangements

Eugene and Sandy Stockel

I sorry we never met but we are brothers in arms forever. May your family and our beloved Riley (our niece) find peace and healing. Gene and Sandy
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Memorial Flowers Purchased

Eugene and Sandy Stockel purchased flowers and planted a memorial tree for the family of Maj. James Spidel.
Comment | Posted at 06:47pm via Floral Arrangements

Why light a candle?

This is why you should light a candle..

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