Tulsa Gluedobbers Control Line Club
In Memory Of Jim Shamblin
Jim was born on March 24, 1932 and died on January 7, 2010. He attended Byrd High School in Shreveport, Louisiana where he received many honors both scholastically and in Byrd's ROTC program. By 1946, Jim was competing in controline model airplane contests in Shreveport, Texarkana, Austin, and San Antonio. He won and placed in the speed and stunt events held at these contests.
Jim also flew in the famous Plymouth International qualifying contests in 1948 which were held at Kelly AFB in San Antonio and in Austin, Texas. 

In 1949, Jim's father was transferred to San Antonio, and Jim attended and graduated from Alamo Heights High School where he made the honor roll. He competed in the 1949 Plymouth Meet qualifying contest in Corpus Christi, and in Randolph Field, Texas. Jim won First place in combat, and Third place in Stunt at Corpus Christi.  He placed First in A&B Sportsman Speed and Third in C&D Sportsman Speed at the Randolph AFB Contest.


In 1950, Jim was president of the Alamo Skysters model airplane club, and competed in the Fourth Annual Plymouth meet qualifying contest held at Brooks AFB, San Antonio, Texas.  Jim won second place in the Senior Sportsman Speed event. George Aldrich won second place in the Senior Stunt event. George Aldrich told me that he saw Jim Shamblin fly in a Freestyle Stunt event at the Football Field in San Antonio. He said that Jim Flew all his stunts while holding a Bowler hat in front of his face, so that he was flying blind. The spectators in the grandstands applauded after each flight. The contestant who was given the loudest applause won the contest. (No, I don't know who won!)

Jim Shamblin told me that he flew in a contest in the late 1940's that both George Aldrich and Don Still flew stunt in. Jim said that he beat Don Still, and that George Aldrich was a Beginner, and couldn't fly the full pattern. Jim also told me that he saw Don Still fly stunt in a contest three years later, and that Don was then the best flyer that He had ever seen! You may not know who George Aldrich and Don Still are, but if Controline Stunt had a Pantheon, they would both be in it.

In 1950, Jim graduated from high school. He had won many honors, both for his grades and his volunteer work at the school, which included being on the Yearbook Committee, managing the basketball team, Delegate to the BCSLA, and many others. Jim Shamblin was an overachiever, and at the same time one of the nicest guys you'd ever meet.  

Jim tried to join the US military after graduation, but he had a weak heart, so they wouldn't take him. Jim told me that the only thing left to do was go to college. Jim quit flying airplanes for many years so as to apply himself to school, work and his family. In college and all through his life, he applied himself with the same drive and focus that he had previously shown.

He attended the University of Texas and received a BS degree in 1954. After graduation he went to work for Pratt and Whitney  for about a year, and then went to Southwest Research Institute testing  oils and greases. Some of the oil that Jim tested was for jet engines; it had low viscosity but would still protect the bearings. Jim was working with a couple of friends that were drag racing a 1955 chevy powered by a 283 V-8. They found out that using the jet engine oil in the Chevy V-8 gave a lot more horsepower because the friction was less. They also shimmed the rear end so that it would pass the differential test. (Jack one rear wheel of the car up, and turn the wheel that is off the ground. It should rotate without the other wheel moving. This proves that you are not running a locked rear end on your car). However, the way the Chevy rear end was shimmed, when you lowered the car to the ground you had a locked rear end. This was a great advantage in a drag race.

They won their class at the NHRA nationals in Oklahoma City with the Chevy in 1957. In the finals, they beat some Californians who were running a chromed up Chrysler Hemi powered car. Prior to the race, the Californians had been scornful of the Okies and the Chevy. They never knew why they lost!

Jim Married Norma Jeanne Shamblin in 1959 in San Antonio, Texas. He received an MS degree in Mechanical Engineering in 1962, and a PHD in industrial engineering in 1964 from the University of Texas.

Jim was a member of the following honor fraternities: Honor Society (High School) Alpha Pi Mu ( Industrial Engineering) Pi Tau Sigma (Mechanical Engineering) Tau Beta Pi (College of Engineering) Sigma Iota Epsilon (Management) and Sigma Tau ( Agriculture and Applied Science)

Jim was professor emeritus of industrial engineering at Oklahoma State University, where he founded and was director of the Center for Local Government Technology.  He was a test engineer at Pratt and Whitney Aircraft (1954-1955) and a research engineer at Southwest Research Institute (1955-1960).  While at OSU, a land grant college, he participated in the Extension Service Program, ran numerous research projects and had extensive consulting with more than 20 industrial firms.  He authored with G.T. Stevens a text book titled "Operations Research, A Fundamental Approach".  He was a member of the National Society of Professional Engineers.




Jim received multiple honors and awards, not limited to, but including Chester F. Carlson Award for Innovation in Engineering Education, ASEE, 1976; NASA/ASEE Faculty Fellowship, Stanford University, 1974; Western Electric Award Outstanding Engineering Educator, ASEE; Outstanding Teacher, College of Engineering, Oklahoma State University 1968-1969 and 1972-1973; R.R. Teetor Education Grant, 1965; Most Valuable Teaching Assistant, Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Texas, 1960-1961; H.B. Maynard Innovative Achievement Award, 1977; Federal Highway Administration Award for Excellence in Technology Transfer, 1992; and Honorary Title Doctor of Change 1993; Elected Fellow -- Institute of Industrial Engineering, 1993 AIIE; Honorary Admiral in the Oklahoma Navy; and Outstanding Member of the Year, Stillwater Chamber of Commerce Infrastructure Committee.

He was made an honorary county commissioner of the Association of County Commissioners of Oklahoma and honorary member of the Country Treasurers Association of Oklahoma.

The County Assessors Association and The County Offices and Deputies Association of Oklahoma recognized him as a friend for the service and support that he provided.

Jim loved fishing, flying and building model airplanes, target shooting, spending time at the cabin at Grand Lake and traveling in the RV and with friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents and one cousin, Jean Hardin of Houston, Texas.

He is survived by his wife, Norma Jeanne; two children, son Earle Shamblin and wife Lorra of Stillwater, and daughter Katherine Shamblin Wallis and husband Steve of Blanchard; and three grandchildren, Dena Shamblin, Morgan Shamblin and Michael Wallis.

Jim was greatly loved and will be missed.

He treated everyone as an equal, and never mentioned the many accomplishments and honors that he had earned. He seemed to always be in a good mood and had a smile on his face.

Jim was a member of the Tulsa Gluedobbers Controline Club. He and his wife, Norma Jeanne, helped out at our contests many times. If donations were needed for anything, he was always there, and gave generously. I wish he could have known about the high regard in which he was held by our club.

We really miss him.

De Hill

July 29, 2010

Part of the above tribute was taken from the Stillwater NewsPress, January 9, 2010.