In the early evening of 24 December 2019 James Daniel Pruneski, age 53, departed this earth for the love and care of his heavenly father. He fought a valiant battle against cancer for over 6 years to reach his two most important milestones – the graduation of his son, James Andrew Pruneski, from West Point in May 2019 and the graduation of his daughter, Alexandra Nicole Pruneski, from the University of Alabama in Huntsville on 16 December 2019.
Jim, born on 10 March 1966, grew up in Mount Clemens, Michigan and spent part of his teenaged years in Europe. After graduating from the United States Military Academy at West Point on 15 May 1988 he was assigned to Ft Hood, TX where he met Sandy Barton and they got married on 8 December 1990. Their twin children, James Andrew and Alexandra Nicole, were born in Melbourne, Australia in June 1997 while Jim was teaching at the Australian Signal School.
Jim spent 17 years in Signal Corps assignments: Fort Hood, TX, McDill AFB, FL, Melbourne, Australia, Fort Leavenworth, KS as a student at CGSC, Fort Bragg, NC, and The Pentagon in Virginia. Jim was assigned to Kirtland Air Force Base in Albuquerque, New Mexico in June 2007, where he served in the Operationally Responsive Space Office and he was promoted to Colonel.
Jim, Sandy, and their children moved to the Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Alabama in June 2010, where he was assigned as Director of Combat Development, US Army Space and Missile Defense Command. Jim then spent two years as the Chief Operations Officer for Space, at the US Army Central Command, Shaw Air Force Base, SC, while his family remained in Huntsville. Jim returned to Huntsville in July 2014 to become the Deputy Director, Future Warfare Center, US Army Space and Missile Defense Command for one year and then becoming the Space and Missile Defense Command’s Chief Information Officer for one year. In August 2016, Jim became the Director of Capability Development and Integration, normally a Senior Executive Service position, until he retired 1 June 2018 with 30 years of service.
Jim received many awards, including two Legions of Merit, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, five Meritorious Service Medals, the Army Staff Identification Badge, and the Basic Air Force Space and Missile, Master Space, and Senior Space Badges.
After retiring, Jim joined Koda Technologies as their Principal Engineer; the company provided contractual support to the US Army Space and Missile Defense Command. In June 2019, Jim returned to the US Army Space and Missile Defense Command as a civil service employee, where is served as the Director, Space and Strategic Systems in the Technical Center until he passed away.
Jim is survived by his wife of 29 years, Sandy, his twin children, James and Alex, parents James and Lydia Pruneski, and brother Chris Pruneski and his wife Angela. He is also survived by several aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews.
Jim was preceded in death by his grandparents James and Christine Pruneski of Mt Clemens, MI.
Funeral services will be held on 2 January at St John the Baptist Catholic Church, 1055 Hughes Rd, Madison, AL. Visitation is 10-12 and mass following.
Jim will be buried in Killeen, Texas at the Central Texas Veterans State Cemetery on 6 January 2020 at 11:00.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to West Point Electrical Engineering/Pre-Medical Internships at www.westpointaog.org in memory of COL(R) James D. Pruneski ’88.