James was born and raised in St. Joseph to Lee and Mildred (Bridges) Reil. He graduated from Lafayette High School. He married Penny Francis on February 26, 1967 in St. Joseph. She survives of the home.
He began his career at St. Joseph Light & Power, where he worked for 39 years before retiring in 2006. He was most proud of serving in the 139th Airlift Wing Missouri Air National Guard at Rosecrans Memorial Airport. He retired after 27 years of service. He enjoyed carpentry, building houses, flying airplanes, and spending time with his family and friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents and son, Aaron Reil.
Additional surviving family includes son, Eric (Molly) Reil, of Easton; daughter-in-law, Tricia Reil, of Agency; granddaughters, Maggie and Erin Reil, and brothers, Mark and Scott Reil.
Services 2:00 PM Wednesday, February 13, 2013 at Heaton-Bowman-Smith & Sidenfaden Chapel.
Interment Blakely Cemetery, Easton, Missouri.
Visitation will begin after 1:00 PM Tuesday at our chapel, where the family will receive friends from 6:00 to 8:00 PM Tuesday evening.