UMATILLA - James Curtis Frala, 64, of Umatilla died Wednesday, Feb. 11, 2009, at his home. Memorial services with military honors will be held at 1:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 16 at the Pendleton Eagles Lodge, 428 S. Main St.
Mr. Frala was born June 17, 1944, in Pendleton to Truman and Elsia Frala. He was raised and attended school in Pendleton, and graduated from Pendleton High School. He enlisted in the Marines Corps and chose air traffic control as his field of work. He was stationed in Tennessee, Georgia and North Carolina. In 1965 he was reassigned to 1st Marine Air Wing and was sent to Iwakuni, Japan, Chu Lai and Da Nana, Viet Nam, then back to Iwakuni where he remained as tower officer.
Following his discharge from the Marines in 1967, he was hired by the Federal Aviation Administration as an air traffic control Specialist in Spokane, then to Seattle in 1969 and Los Angeles from 1971-78. He was promoted to area supervisor and selected a position at the Portland Airport. In 1991 he was selected as air traffic specialist in the northwest mountain region in Seattle, serving seven western states, and retired in 1994 after 31 years of federal service. After retirement took a job under contract to Boeing Aircraft through a consulting firm in Washington, D.C., to travel to China to teach air traffic control procedures to the Chinese.
In 1966 he married Jeannette Anderson, the mother of his children; they later divorced. In 1997 he moved to Oklahoma City, where he married RayNora Burt in 1999. They later moved to Pendleton, and then to Umatilla.
Mr. Frala is survived by his wife, RayNora of Umatilla; mother Elsia Ferguson of Pendleton; sister LaVora Boltz of Pendleton; daughters Patty Lyons of Orangeville, Calif., and Peggy Plank of Sandy; son Jim C. Frala Jr. of Gresham; stepdaughters Lara Burt and Terri Burt of Oklahoma City, Okla.; six grandchildren and one stepgrandson; and multiple aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, great-nieces, great-nephews and cousins.
He was preceded in death by grandfather Herb Wilson; stepfather Earl Ferguson; sister Evelyn Shank; and stepson Christopher Burt.
Burns Mortuary of Hermiston is in charge of arrangements.