OCEAN RIDGE — James Frederick Many, a former resident of Ocean Ridge, recently joined the more than 500,000 Americans who have lost their lives to the coronavirus. A COVID-19-related cardiac arrest took Mr. Many’s life on Feb. 16. He was 83.
Born in 1937, Mr. Many served in the Airborne Early Warning Squadron Four for the U.S. Navy’s North Atlantic fleet. He later enjoyed a career as a commercial airline pilot, including working for Modern Air, National Airlines, Pan American and United Airlines.
Mr. Many and two fellow pilots from Modern Air were employed by Elvis Presley as the flight crew of his newest jet aircraft. Mr. Many served as the flight engineer for the Lisa Marie.
For always “taking care of business” safely and professionally flying the Lisa Marie, Elvis presented Mr. Many with a gold “TCB” pendant and chain. Mr. Many said Elvis dropped the chain over his head, snagged it on his ear, tugged it into place and said, “Now it’s all shook up!”
When Elvis died, Mr. Many and the crew flew the Lisa Marie with Priscilla Presley, actor George Hamilton and other close friends of Elvis back to Memphis for the funeral.
A few weeks after that, Mr. Many returned to commercial aviation.
It was on a flight to Rio de Janeiro that Jim met his future wife, Connie Persall.
Mr. Many retired from UAL having earned certifications as flight engineer, pilot or captain on every type of jetliner that he flew. His favorite was the Boeing 747.
Family, friends, aviation, boating and building homes filled his active life. Building homes on spec in boating communities led Mr. Many to build his dream home in Ocean Ridge. The serenity of the quaint but opulent boating and beach community was ideal.
The couple left their beloved Ocean Ridge for a one-story home in Stuart after Mr. Many’s knee replacement surgery.
With Jim at the helm of their sturdy Tiara, Wings, the couple loved boating and exploring the waterways of Stuart.
Mr. Many is survived by his wife, Connie E. Persall; sister, Susan Miller; son, Dale; granddaughter, Oaklee; plus nephews, nieces, grandnephews, grandnieces and cousins. A true gentleman, he will be remembered, loved and missed by family and friends.
A memorial and military honors service will take place at 12:30 p.m. April 26 at Cape Canaveral National Cemetery, 5525 U.S. Highway 1 North, Mims. Masks and social distancing will be observed.
Obituary submitted by the family