A U.S. Navy veteran and longtime volunteer at the San Diego Air and Space Museum has died after sharing his aviation expertise with workers and visitors for nearly 37 years.
Jim Weir, 99, started volunteering in the restoration shop in the basement of the formerly-named San Diego Aerospace Museum in 1984, the museum said.
Over the decades, he documented 11,600 hours of volunteer work. But the museum said a conservative estimate of actual hours would actually be more than 15,000 hours.
When Weir found himself without a task at the shop, he'd float up to the main gallery floor and chat with visitors about the aircraft and their instrumentation.
His 40-plus years of experience in the aviation industry, including in the Navy, made him "the museum's recognized expert for aircraft instruments," they said.
"Jim gave a lot of himself to the San Diego Air & Space Museum and to the community as a whole. He did it out of love — and the Museum loved him right back," the museum said.
"Jim Weir was the heart and soul of our volunteers. He always had a smile on his face and a great story to tell," said Jim Kidrick, President and CEO. "I know everyone here at the Museum looked forward to a visit with him. Jim Weir was truly one of a kind and will be dearly missed.”
The museum reopened to the public on June 12 after closing due to the pandemic.