August 16, 1922 - January 16, 2017
Jim Ambrose passed away peacefully on January 16th at Hospice House in Landrum with his family by his side.
Jim was born in Brewer Maine and graduated with high distinction from the University of Maine in Bangor. After leaving the University, he embarked on his life long journey of quietly serving his country. During World War II, he worked on the development of radar systems, semiconductors, nuclear weapons and nuclear reactors. He then worked for 36 years as an executive technical expert working on defense systems, space programs and satellite system development. During this time he traveled around the world many times, providing critical technical trouble shooting support to our nation and allies.
Jim Ambrose next served as Undersecretary of the Army for 8 years from 1981 to 1988 under President Reagan. His staff said that he worked 29 hour workdays and 9 day weeks to help provide our nation with the technology needed to defend our freedom. He also fought to get the soldiers in the field the equipment and training that they needed.
In addition to serving our nation and the community, Jim and his wife Rebecca raised 4 sons. Together they raised their sons to view the world from a scientific perspective and to use that knowledge to solve problems. Jim and Rebecca’s love of nature (multi‑week backpacking trips into the High Sierra Nevada Mountains), photography, woodworking and crafts lives on through the generations.
In 2004, Jim Ambrose married Virginia Brooks Davis of Tryon. Together they have explored the world, while supporting families on two continents.
Jim is survived by his wife, Virginia Ambrose and their sons Jim Ambrose, David Ambrose, Greg Ambrose, Jeff Ambrose, Jim Cole and Steven Cole.