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 James A. Dewar

James A. Dewar

Death 29 Dec 2006 (aged 92)
Burial Cremated, Ashes scattered
Memorial ID 17307235 · View Source
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James A. Dewar
1914 - 2006
Jim was born in Bakersfield, January 5, 1914. He passed quietly away at his home six days shy of his 93 birthday. Jim married his high school sweetheart Dorothy George and had three children, the twins, Beverly and Barbara, and son, George. Jim took over the operation of Dewar's Candy Shop in 1947 and was still somewhat involved at age 86. During his lifetime he enjoyed hunting, fishing and fast boats. He is survived by his sister, Rosie Anderson, his children, seven grandchildren, and twelve great- grandchildren. The family would especially like to thank Lucille Calahan, Luella Jackson, Dorothy King and Selena Adams for their care of Jim and his family. James A. Dewar Jan. 5, 1914 - Dec. 29, 2006 Greenlawn Southwest Mortuary

Published in the Bakersfield Californian on 1/3/2007.

Dewar ate ice cream till very end
Family to celebrate birthday, not death
BY SHELLIE BRANCO, Californian staff writer
e-mail: | Wednesday, Jan 3 2007 10:10 PM
Last Updated: Wednesday, Jan 3 2007 10:44 PM

James A. Dewar, son of the Dewar's Candy Shop founder and eventual owner of the beloved Bakersfield sweets store, died Friday of natural causes. He was 92.

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Photo of James A. Dewar circa 1952.
He would have turned 93 this Friday, said granddaughter Heather Dewar-Cook, one of the family-run shop's current owners.

Dewar died as his nurse put him to bed, she said. According to his wishes, there will be no funeral. Friends and family will celebrate his birthday.

Dewar wished to have his remains cremated and his ashes spread at the site of the family cabin at Bass Lake. The remains of his wife, Dorothy George, were cremated and spread on the property five years ago.

The family is emotional, but glad he's at rest, Heather said. In later years he went blind after suffering strokes in his eyes. Heather said her grandfather didn't want to live if he wasn't going to have a high quality of life.

He is survived by son George Dewar, daughters Beverly Stanton and Barbara Cook, seven grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.

The current owners of the candy shop are Heather, her brother, Mike, and father, George.

Dewar, born in Bakersfield, was the son of James H. Dewar, who established the candy shop in 1909.

He attended Kern County Union High School, now Bakersfield High, and joined the family business right after school.

During World War II he worked nights at the store and worked days in the oil fields.

He took over the store in 1947.

Dewar bought property next to the Eye Street location around 1959. He added a parking lot and a warehouse. He also expanded the store by 20 feet.

George became a partner around 1965, then took over for his father in 1977.

Dewar didn't throw away products. Heather recalled how her grandfather filtered through crates of taffy chews. If they weren't perfectly wrapped, or the peanuts in the peanut butter chews weren't perfectly centered, they were declared "seconds."

Those seconds, imperfect but tasty, went to lucky family and friends. If there was a mistake on a customer's ice cream order, such as an incorrect topping, workers saved the item and Dewar took it to pals in an ice chest.

Dewar was proud of the deer head on the south wall of the Eye Street store, George said. He killed the deer in 1952. At the time, it was the biggest deer killed in five states, George said.

Dewar was also a pioneer of drag boat racing at Hart Park. He had two world records in 1954 and 1955 under his belt, said his son.

Heather remembered Dewar as a perfectionist and a workaholic. Dewar's was his life, she said. He checked up on the next generation of owners to make sure everything was running smoothly.

Dewar's 1998 heart surgery led to a stroke in his eyes, George said. In the last few years he only saw shades and colors.

"If there was a pretty girl he could see," George joked. "Selective eyesight."

He continued to visit the store every morning to greet customers and offer a Dewar's chew until five or six years ago, when he stopped driving.

When the family opened the Hageman Road store in 2001, Dewar stood at the door and passed out candy.

He always ate ice cream for dessert, Heather said. His favorite flavor was cookies and cream. Heather often brought him several half-gallons of the treat.

He stopped eating recently as his health declined, but he would still have ice cream, she said.


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  • Created by: Diana Satterfield
  • Added: 5 Jan 2007
  • Find A Grave Memorial 17307235
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for James A. Dewar (5 Jan 1914–29 Dec 2006), Find A Grave Memorial no. 17307235, ; Maintained by Diana Satterfield (contributor 46614911) Cremated, Ashes scattered.