Harold John "Jim" Ainsley, a retired Baltimore County police lieutenant and former Parkville resident, was killed Wednesday when his single-engine airplane crashed in dense fog in Lake Apopka in central Florida. He was 68.
He had been leaving his home in Winter Haven, Fla., to return to Ocean Pines for the summer. The accident happened as he was on his way to DeLand, Fla., to pick up a co-pilot.
Services for Mr. Ainsley will be held at 10 a.m. tomorrow at the Leonard J. Ruck funeral home, 5303 Harford Road in Hamilton.
His prized possession was his Navion, a 1947 single-engine plane considered the toughest plane ever built, said his half brother, Edward Wefelmeyer of Long Green.
Mr. Ainsley was known as Jim because he hated the name Harold, Mr. Beckwith said. Someone in the family started calling him Jim, and it stuck.
He was born in Baltimore and attended Polytechnic Institute. He was drafted into the Army in 1943.
In the latter part of World War II, he served in the infantry and fought in the liberation of the Philippines, earning honors during the battles of Luzon and New Guinea. After the war, he remained in the Reserves until retiring with the rank of lieutenant colonel in 1983.
He held several jobs both before and during his 30 years as a Baltimore County police officer.
Next month, he and his wife, the former Charlotte Kirchner, would have celebrated their 45th wedding anniversary.
Other survivors include two daughters, Constance A. Beckwith and Beverly C. Horner, both of Bel Air; a son, John M. Ainsley of Parkville; his mother, Louise Wefelmeyer of Hamilton; and three grandchildren.
The family suggested memorial donations to the Shriners Hospital for Crippled Children, in care of Boumi Temple.