American Veteran 04

James L. Embrey

March 22, 1934


Command Sergeant Major (Retired) James L Embrey departed this world to be with the Lord on Sunday, September 3, 2023. He was born in Sperryville Virginia on March 22, 1934, and grew up in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia where he graduated from Luray High School in 1952 as the president of his class and Captain of the football team. He then went on to serve 21 years as a career soldier in the United States Army before retiring to Rineyville, Kentucky where he enjoyed many full and joyful years with friends, family and most especially the love of his life, Mrs. Stella Jean Embrey.

Jim Embrey was many things to all who knew him and loved him. First, and most importantly, he was a lifelong believer in God, and a good and righteous man who sought to serve others as our Lord would want. While he always knew he was saved through "Amazing Grace" (his favorite him), Jim lived-out his favorite verse every day amongst others, as he would "act justly, love, mercy, and walk humbly with his God. (Micah 6:8)

Throughout 67 years of marriage, Jim was a loving husband to his "Angel of 1936" Mrs. Stella Jean Embrey, as the two brought each other happiness, joy, and lifelong enjoyment. They traveled the world together and were never far from each other's side, as they enjoyed many good friends as they served and helped everyone that they knew.

He was also a loving father and role model of what a "good man" of God should be for all of his 3 children, 4 grandchildren, and great granddaughter. He leaves behind in the care of Jean their three children, Colonel (retired) James H Embrey (and Joyce) of Carlisle, PA; Ms. Keeley (Embrey) Gadd and family of Richmond; and Major (retired) Teddi Embrey of Rineyville; all knew him as a great model a who a father should be - always loving, providing advice and direction to steer us on the right paths, and never too far away when support was needed. His legacy will continue to live on through his four grandchildren James P. Embrey, Caitlin M. Embrey, Jackson M. Embrey, and Kelsey Rae Dunn (and Cameron) with his great-granddaughter Stella Elizabeth Dunn. He is also survived by his sister-in law Diana Embrey, and a host of extended family members to include his dear McNeely "Sisters-in-Law" and friends who will miss him dearly.

As a career soldier and military leader, he served our great Republic across the world for over 21 years (1953-1974) in Korea, Germany, and the Republic of Vietnam. He was a "Soldier's Soldier" who always led from the front, rising to become a Sergeant Major of Cavalry in only 15 years. As an Army paratrooper, he served first with the 187th Airborne (Rakkasans), and then as a long serving member of the 101st Airborne Division and Army Master Parachutist at Fort Campbell, KY which his family called "home" for many years. His most cherished memory was forming the new G troop, 2nd Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment and leading them into Vietnam in 1966-1967. As a First Sergeant, he led them through continuous combat for the next year, earning two Bronze Stars for Valor, two Purple Hearts, and the Combat Infantryman Badge (CIB).  As a professional NCO leader, he demanded much of his Troopers that he led, but he always demanded much more of himself as he trained, cared for, and loved them throughout his career.  Following his retirement in 1974 he continued to assist soldiers with their challenges while at the Fort Knox Credit Union through his final retirement in 1991. As a lifelong friend and servant of the community, he was a member of the American Legion, the 11th Armored Cavalry "Blackhorse" Veterans Association, and the Kentucky Birddog Field Trials where his beloved companion "Barney" was a State Field Trials Champion. Jim was also an avid hunter, fisherman and trapper who loved the outdoors, and a story-writer and teller who provided countless stories to his friends and family who constantly enjoyed his sense of humor and love of life.

Funeral services will be on Friday, September 8, 2023 at the Chism Family Funeral Home, Vine Grove, KY with visitation at 10:30 AM and Services at 12:00 PM. Following these, Command Sergeant, Major Embrey will be laid to rest with military honors among his comrades at 1:30 PM at the Kentucky Veterans Cemetery Central in Radcliff, Kentucky. May he rest with the Lord, our God, and amongst his fellow Troopers at "Fiddlers Green." 

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you make a contribution to the young men and women being developed by Oneida Baptist Institute, Attn Mr Jerry Pierce, PO Box 67 Oneida, KY 40972, or online in his name.


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September 8, 2023

10:30 AM to 12:00 PM
Chism Family Funeral Home
769 Highland Ave
Vine Grove, KY 40175

Funeral Service
September 8, 2023

12:00 PM
Chism Family Funeral Home
769 Highland Ave
Vine Grove, KY 40175

Graveside Service
September 8, 2023

1:30 PM
Kentucky Veterans Cemetery Central
2501 North Dixie Boulevard
Radcliff, KY 40160


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