James Morris Brightman

July 20, 1935 - February 13, 2017

Capt. James Morris Brightman, U.S.N. (Ret.)

Capt. James Morris (“Jim”) Brightman (Ret.), age 81, of Fairview, Texas, passed away February 13, 2017 after a tough battle with Dementia.  He was born July 20, 1935, in Harlingen, Texas, to Lieuen Morris and Mary Virginia (Loomis) Brightman.  He grew up primarily in Sherman, TX.  After graduating from North Texas State University (now UNT), he entered the US Navy and completed OCS in Newport, RI in 1957.  On April 24, 1958, he married the love of his life, Sarah Sue Compton in Sherman, as he began his distinguished 29 year Naval Career and their world-wide adventure together. 

Jim’s Naval service took him and the family all over the world, including Iwakuni, Japan; Arlington, TX; Pensacola, FL; Rota, Spain; San Diego, CA; Washington, D.C.; Whidbey Island, WA; Mayport, FL; Guam; and, San Antonio, TX.  Jim was a pioneer in Electronic Warfare and Electronic Countermeasures for the Navy.  His work led directly to the development of the Shrike Missile during Viet Nam, saving countless aviators’ lives.  Jim was one of the first officers selected to start up the EA-6B program in 1970 and was Commanding Officer of VAQ-134.  He was a graduate of the National War College and then served as Air Ops and Ops Officer on the USS Forrestal.  After his time on the Forrestal, he served as Commanding Officer of VQ-1, at the time, the largest aviation squadron in the Navy.  He ended his career serving as Vice Commander of the Joint Electronic Warfare Center in San Antonio.  While serving in the Navy, he spent time deployed on the USS Forrestal, USS Saratoga, USS Ranger, USS Kitty Hawk, USS Constellation, and the USS Enterprise.  In addition to other medals and awards during his service, he was the recipient of multiple Navy Commendation Medals and the Legion of Merit.

Following his Naval Career, Jim worked for the State of Texas as Director of Health and Safety for the Texas Workforce Commission in Austin from 1988 until he retired for good.  He and Sarah resided in Austin until 2015. He as a member of the Kappa Alpha fraternity and served as an Elder in the Presbyterian Church.

Jim could be a taskmaster, but he loved his family, dogs and horses and making sure those around him performed their best.  He enjoyed good food and wine, particularly Sarah’s culinary talents; and, had a sharp and sarcastic sense of humor and never failed to tell an attractive woman that she was just that.  He was an avid reader and never stopped his learning.

He is survived by his wife, Sarah Brightman of Fairview, Texas; son, Tim Brightman and wife, Tracy of McKinney, Texas; daughters, Sue Morrow and husband, Bob of Brandon, Mississippi and Jennifer Brightman of Fairview; grandchildren, Emily Brightman, Jack Brightman, Molly Morrow, Nicholas Morrow, and Matthew Moschel; and sister, Lieuen Boyington and husband, L.R. of Sherman Texas.

He was preceded in death by his parents and sister, Eleanor “Sissy” Busskohl.

A funeral service will be held at 12:00 Noon, Wednesday, February 22, 2017, at Turrentine-Jackson-Morrow Chapel in Allen, Texas.  Interment will follow at Dallas-Fort Worth National Cemetery in Dallas, Texas.

In lieu of flowers, the family invites you to donate to the Wounded Warrior Project or the Alzheimer Association.


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Sahah, you and your family are in our prayers as you grieve the loss of your precious husband and father! RADM and Mrs. Grady L. Jackson, USN (ret), February 25, 2017 Peace be with the family. I worked for Jim at TWCC and he was one of a kind. I sure did miss his leadership skills after I left the agency. May God guide you through this difficult times and as you move forward. May you find comfort in all the great memories and knowing he lived life to it's fullest. The video is such a wonderful tribute. Prayers to you all, Odi Odi Trevino, February 21, 2017 Sarah, my deepest condolences to you and the family. I had the pleasure of working for Jim while at the Workers' Compensation. He was a good person to work for/with. May God grant you peace and serenity through this difficult time. With Deepest Sympathy, Dorothy Gonzales, February 21, 2017 Dear Sarah, Condolences on the loss of your husband. I read the obituary in today's Dallas Morning News and know you said goodbye some time ago, but it is still difficult to lose the one's we've loved. Thinking of you and your family at this time. Warm Regards, Bill Greene
Bill Greene, February 19, 2017 Wishing all the Brightman Family peace in their hearts during this sad time. I only knew of Jim through the fond remembrances of his beautiful daughter Jennifer and wanted to say I know how much he was loved and admired. Thank you Jim for your invaluable service to our country and for leaving us your legacy of a wonderful family. God Bless you on your journey! Carma Birch, February 18, 2017 I was very sorry to hear the news about Mr Brightman's passing. Your family is in my prayers. Sincerely, Alice Morelli Jackson Alice Morelli Jackson, February 18, 2017 Jennifer - You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. Lisa Stewart, February 18, 2017 Sarah, we are sorry to hear of Jim's passing. You are in our prayers. We have very fond memories of both you and Jim. God bless you and your family. Doreen and Bill Bowers, February 18, 2017