James Russell McDade
Ryan Summerlin December 31, 2011
James Russell McDade of Tucson, Arizona made his way out of this world on his own terms on Nov. 1, 2011, a year and a day after his beloved wife, Elaine Bushey McDade, passed away. The family is convinced that they were in cahoots and had planned Jim’s exit all along.
He was born in Dallas on Jan. 15, 1925 and was 86 years old when he passed away after a long illness.
Although Jim was the only child of his parents, Marion (Mac) and Jeanette (Madie) McDade, he married into a large clan and is survived by his sisters-in-law, Patricia Bushey Stuhr and Roberta Bushey Glackin, and 22 nieces and nephews from the Bushey, Glackin and Stuhr families.
Jim served in the U.S. Air Force from 1943-1946. He received his bachelor of science degree from Southern Methodist University and went on to pursue a doctorate in electrical engineering from Northwestern University. He worked for Texas Instruments in Dallas, Texas from 1956-1964, starting as an electrical engineer and terminating as a vice president.
In 1964, he and Elaine moved to Aspen, where Jim developed McDade Properties and Westec Securities. He had a lot of fun running the nightclub at the Aspen Inn for several years. Jim and Elaine set high standards for service wherever they went; there is a legion of men and women out there who owe their start in the hospitality business to their mentoring. Elaine and Jim were founding members of the Aspen Art Museum and Ballet Aspen.
Although he became an avid skier after the move to Colorado, at heart, Jim remained a Texas horseman who was known for his collection of Western art and Texas Ranger memorabilia; his collection of cowboy boots was also legendary! He and Elaine were enthusiastic world travelers who loved life aboard a ship. Together they cared for three generations of their extended family and made so much possible for many others by virtue of their support of the arts in Aspen. Jim was a towering figure of a man who will be greatly missed; thankfully, the sound of his big laugh will remain in our hearts forever.
Together with many friends from Aspen, the family will hold a celebration of Elaine’s and Jim’s lives in Aspen during the third week of June 2012.
Please make donations in the McDade name to the Aspen Art Museum or Ballet Aspen.