James C. Conrad, 95, made his final landing Saturday, June 20 in Wilmington, the city he and his beloved wife Roberta had called home since 1977. This WWII pilot, father of 4, husband for almost 74 years, and DuPont photo products division employee for nearly 35 years was known for leading the Brandywine Hundred Library building campaign.
Born in 1924 in Easton, MD, to James and Mary Conrad, Jim served the nation and DuPont in far-flung places with enthusiasm and energy. Before graduation from Easton H.S., he set his cap for the girl who taught him to drive. They married while he was on leave, and then Jim flew C46s and C47s in the Pacific theater for the US Army Air Forces’ 9th Troop Carrier Squadron. After his service, Jim earned a B.S. in chemical
engineering from University of Maryland in 1950. He and Bert moved often to posts DuPont offered in the northeast and then to Shimizu, Japan, as construction supervisor and manager of a photo products plant. All the while, they raised their family of 4.
While in Japan and after Jim retired in 1984, they visited Southeast Asia, Bali, the
Philippines, Australia, British Isles, Russia, Europe, and U.S. resorts. At home they golfed, danced, volunteered, and played bridge at Sellers Senior Center. After Bert died in 2018, Jim lived on by their shared mottos: “Enjoy!” and “Keep it moving!”
Back in the skies he loved since learning to fly in high school, this Del-Penn
Flyers member maintained instrument rating on a single engine Cessna well into his 80s. An advocate of general aviation, Jim was active in Delaware Aviation Support, Inc.
He belonged to St. Paul’s United Methodist Church for 40 years. Other members helped him attend until COVID-19 intervened. An enthusiastic singer in church and appreciator of all kinds of music, he enjoyed hearing his daughters sing or play the piano while he lived at Rockland Place.
Like Bert, Jim loved the outdoors. He led “the Conrad gang” through many state and
national parks, proudly watching each time they set up the family’s camp.
A “people person” to the core, Jim encouraged others to support causes he believed in and to contribute in their own way to the communities he and Bert called home. As a member and longtime president of Friends of the Library, his passion for reading and
education inspired him to make the case and raise funds for the library on Foulk Road which opened in 2003. Jim’s confident, well informed voice – his broad, winning smile – and his headful of white hair will be missed but never forgotten.
Jim was preceded in death by his parents and brother, Jack; his wife, Roberta; and their son, Bruce Conrad. He is survived by three daughters: Charlotte Grant (Roger); Barbara Conrad; Nancy Conrad ; two grandchildren, and 4 great-grandchildren.