James W. Weeks


James Wesley Weeks, 77, of Duluth, Ga., passed away unexpectedly on Dec. 18, 2013, after sustaining brain injuries from an accidental fall.

Jim was born in Sumter and grew up in Pinewood. He served honorably as a pilot in the U.S. Navy from 1956-1967. His naval career was distinguished by serving two tours of duty with “Operation Deep Freeze” in the Antarctic, supporting the scientific missions there in 1959/60. “Mount Weeks” on the Antarctic continent was named after Lt. Weeks by a New Zealand survey team, whom he transported to the remote location. Later that decade as a P3 Orion pilot, he commanded air support for the sea recovery of NASA’s Gemini 12 piloted by Buzz Aldrin and commanded by James Lovell.

In 1967, Jim joined Delta Airlines as a commercial pilot, retiring as a captain in 1996. He was an avid bicyclist and had a successful racing career in the ’80s and ’90s, winning medals in the U.S. Nationals and Golden Olympics, among others. Known by many as “Opa,” he was an active member of his church and community and a generous supporter of arts education in Gwinnett County Schools, and a tireless and devoted volunteer for the Duluth High School Marching Band. He gave generously of his time and resources to many in his family and community and will be sorely missed by those who knew and loved him.

Jim is survived by his loving wife of 53 years, Kay; his three children, Mike, John and Lori; and his seven grandchildren; two brothers, Thomas R. Weeks of Anderson and Edgar D. Weeks of Morganton, N.C. A memorial service honoring his life will be held on Saturday at Johns Creek Presbyterian Church, 10950 Bell Road, Johns Creek, Ga., 30097.