James Charles Cain, III

James Charles Cain, III of Aspen and St. Louis, died in St Louis on March 2, 2015 after a long battle with cancer. He was only 67 years young and taken from us far too soon.

Jim is survived by his wife, Karen Kribs of Aspen and his mother, Jane Cain, his sister, Jane Palmer and husband Tim, niece Sarah Palmer of Atlanta and his brother, John Cain and wife Autumn, all of St. Louis.

Born in St Louis, the son of Jane Neidhorst Cain and the late James Cain, Jr. on December 12, 1947. His family believes that he was born to be a pilot. His life-long love of flying began as a small child, riding in the lap of his Dad or Uncle, flying their small planes. He got his pilot’s license while he was still in high school and his commercial, instrument and instructor ratings while he was in college.

Jim was a graduate of Christian Brothers College military school in St Louis and obtained a Bachelor of Science degree from St. Louis University. While attending SLU, Jim worked as a flight instructor and mail pilot. After attending two years of law school in California, Jim was offered the opportunity to pursue his dream of becoming an airline captain. He left law school in a flash without looking back.

TWA hired Jim and offered him a two year contract to go work at the airline in Saudi Arabia. It started as an exciting and exotic adventure, but turned into a 36 year career. Before he turned 40, Jim was a jumbo jet captain, and he continued to fly the biggest and the best until he retired, at the end of 2012. Jim felt lucky that his passion could also be his profession. He liked to say that he never really worked a day in his life.

Jim and his wife, Karen met at a small airport near St. Louis where he was a flight instructor and she was a student pilot. They were married briefly in the early 1970’s. After a hiatus of more than two decades, they were reunited and remarried in Aspen in 2000. After that, Aspen became home. Jim loved it for the beauty, the friendliness and the small town feel. He enjoyed many happy days on the golf course, at the music tent and biking on the Rio Grande Trail. Jim was also a World War II history buff and an accomplished SCUBA diver. His friends remember him as a great story-teller; he had a tale for every country and every occasion.

Mass and Services were held at the St. Louis Priory on March 5. Afterwards, Jim’s ashes were scattered from a WW II airplane, flying over the airport where he learned to fly.

Memorial donations may be made to the Foundation for Barnes-Jewish Hospital, 1001 Highlands Plaza Drive Suite 140, St. Louis, MO 63110 for benefit of the Dr. Bruce Haughey research project.

Special thanks for the care, concern and attention of Dr Doug Rovira , Nancy and Siobhan of the Oncology Department at Aspen Valley Hospital. Jim felt safe in their hands.