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Eldon Larry James

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Eldon Larry James

Birth
Trent, Taylor County, Texas, USA
Death
19 Nov 2014 (aged 74)
Madera, Madera County, California, USA
Burial
Cremated. Specifically: Memorial located at Lakeside Memorial Lawn Cemetery in Folsom, California Add to Map
Memorial ID
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Eldon Larry James (1940-2014) was born in Trent, Taylor County, Texas to Marvin "Bert" Leftrich James (1895-1969) of Hunt County, Texas and Eula Georgia Maynard (1898-1959) of Forrester, Terry County, Texas. Eldon grew up in the neighboring town of Sweetwater, Nolan County, Texas and as a youth he was active in amateur boxing having competed in several Golden Gloves tournaments. In 1957, at age 17, his high school girlfriend Juanita Estelle Grice became pregnant with his first child, Debra Renee James who was born on August 5, 1958. Because of the pregnancy of his girlfriend, Eldon married Juanita and dropped out of high school going to work with his father in the oil fields. In late 1958, at the age of 18 he enlisted in the U.S. Air Force and was promptly sent to work as a cook at the Makah Air Force Radar Station in Neah Bay, Washington. Late in 1959, following the death of his his daughter and his mother, Eldon's marriage to Juanita was annulled. Within two years of the annulment Eldon met his second wife, Carol Ina Gilbertson of Port Angeles, Washington. The two were married in November of 1961 in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. According to his wife Carol James, "We lived in Biloxi, Mississippi from May 1963 to April 1964 while "Cookie" went to school at Keesler AFB. During this time Carol worked as a cashier-hostess at the Sea-n-Sirloin Restaurant and later as a clerk-typist for Olin Mathison Aluminum in Gulfport. We enjoyed the first snowfall in approximately 20 years. We lived in a two bedroom duplex half way between Biloxi and Gulfport and about a block from the beach." Eldon would go on to serve as a staff sergeant in the U.S. Air Force through 1967 in the 552nd Airborne Early Warning and Control Wing during the Vietnam War as an in-flight radar technician on board an EC-121 Morning Star. His mission was to fly up and down the coast of North Vietnam, monitor in-bound Russian Mig fighter jets and alert American aircraft of their location. His aircraft contained no armament and its only defense to an attack by a Mig fighter jet was to either fly above the Russian jet's altitude ceiling or fly out to sea beyond the enemy's point of no return. During his time in service he received the following medals and citations: Good Conduct Medal - 1962; Air Force Longevity Service Award - 1963; Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon - 1964; Air Force Good Conduct Medal - 1965; Vietnam Service Medal - 1966; National Defense Service Medal - 1966; Air Force Outstanding Unit Award - 1966. On March 22, 1966 his second child was born, Larry Paul James. Within one year of the birth of his son, Eldon would be honorably discharged from the U.S. Air Force while stationed at McClellan Air Force Base in Sacramento, California. Following his discharge, Eldon began working for private electronic development companies including Weather Measure, Inc, and PMI, Corporation as a purchasing agent for electronic components. In 1970 Eldon moved his family to the town of Folsom, California where he took a position with Aeroject Liquid Rocket Company purchasing parts for polaris and titan class nuclear missiles. At this time he also became a part-time volunteer police office for the town of Folsom graduating from the Sacramento Sheriffs Academy in 1971. Eldon would remain a volunteer police officer for the next 7 years. This led to his campaign for Folsom City Council in 1976 and appointment as Chairman of the Planning Commission for the City of Folsom that same year. Eldon would serve on the Planning Commission for the City of Folsom through 1980. From the time of his arrival in Folsom in 1970, Eldon was active in the community, a member of Rotary International, a Little League baseball coach and sponsor of the local Boy Scouts of America. On June 8, 1982 Eldon divorced his second wife Carol James in Sacramento, California. On September 10, 1983 he married his third wife Leona E. Franke in Sacramento, California. Eldon met Leona while serving as Chairman of the Folsom Planning Commission. At the time, Leona was working as the city's planner. An affair with Leona led to his separation from Carol and divorce. Following his marriage to Leona Franke, Eldon left the town of Folsom and moved to the town of Madera, Madera County, California. For a few years Eldon then worked for Foster Farms, a chicken and poultry processing company in Merced, California where he worked as a purchasing agent. He then accepted a position as Director of Purchasing for the Madera Unified School District. This is where he would remain until 1994 when he resigned his position as director and opened his own leather crafting business, JAX Leather Company. During his time in Madera, Eldon remained active in Rotary International. He also took up raising mules which he showed in various equine events including Mule Days in Bishop, California. Eldon also became a member of the Single Action Shooting Society ("SASS") in which he competed in period fire arm shooting contests and celebrated living history. His active participation in SASS led him to start his own leather crafting business in which he built historical replica holsters and other leather equipment for the members of SASS. In 2004 Eldon suffered from a stroke, became disabled and was forced into retirement. In 2006 his third wife Leona Franke left him and divorced him in 2010. Between 2010 and his passing in 2014, Eldon remained a loving and devoted father to his son Larry James; and, grandfather to his granddaughter Alexandra "Lexi" Renee James. Eldon died on November 19, 2014 from complications arising from illness. He was cremated and his ashes scattered. A memorial was donated by the U.S. Veteran's Administration and placed in Folsom, California.
Eldon Larry James (1940-2014) was born in Trent, Taylor County, Texas to Marvin "Bert" Leftrich James (1895-1969) of Hunt County, Texas and Eula Georgia Maynard (1898-1959) of Forrester, Terry County, Texas. Eldon grew up in the neighboring town of Sweetwater, Nolan County, Texas and as a youth he was active in amateur boxing having competed in several Golden Gloves tournaments. In 1957, at age 17, his high school girlfriend Juanita Estelle Grice became pregnant with his first child, Debra Renee James who was born on August 5, 1958. Because of the pregnancy of his girlfriend, Eldon married Juanita and dropped out of high school going to work with his father in the oil fields. In late 1958, at the age of 18 he enlisted in the U.S. Air Force and was promptly sent to work as a cook at the Makah Air Force Radar Station in Neah Bay, Washington. Late in 1959, following the death of his his daughter and his mother, Eldon's marriage to Juanita was annulled. Within two years of the annulment Eldon met his second wife, Carol Ina Gilbertson of Port Angeles, Washington. The two were married in November of 1961 in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. According to his wife Carol James, "We lived in Biloxi, Mississippi from May 1963 to April 1964 while "Cookie" went to school at Keesler AFB. During this time Carol worked as a cashier-hostess at the Sea-n-Sirloin Restaurant and later as a clerk-typist for Olin Mathison Aluminum in Gulfport. We enjoyed the first snowfall in approximately 20 years. We lived in a two bedroom duplex half way between Biloxi and Gulfport and about a block from the beach." Eldon would go on to serve as a staff sergeant in the U.S. Air Force through 1967 in the 552nd Airborne Early Warning and Control Wing during the Vietnam War as an in-flight radar technician on board an EC-121 Morning Star. His mission was to fly up and down the coast of North Vietnam, monitor in-bound Russian Mig fighter jets and alert American aircraft of their location. His aircraft contained no armament and its only defense to an attack by a Mig fighter jet was to either fly above the Russian jet's altitude ceiling or fly out to sea beyond the enemy's point of no return. During his time in service he received the following medals and citations: Good Conduct Medal - 1962; Air Force Longevity Service Award - 1963; Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon - 1964; Air Force Good Conduct Medal - 1965; Vietnam Service Medal - 1966; National Defense Service Medal - 1966; Air Force Outstanding Unit Award - 1966. On March 22, 1966 his second child was born, Larry Paul James. Within one year of the birth of his son, Eldon would be honorably discharged from the U.S. Air Force while stationed at McClellan Air Force Base in Sacramento, California. Following his discharge, Eldon began working for private electronic development companies including Weather Measure, Inc, and PMI, Corporation as a purchasing agent for electronic components. In 1970 Eldon moved his family to the town of Folsom, California where he took a position with Aeroject Liquid Rocket Company purchasing parts for polaris and titan class nuclear missiles. At this time he also became a part-time volunteer police office for the town of Folsom graduating from the Sacramento Sheriffs Academy in 1971. Eldon would remain a volunteer police officer for the next 7 years. This led to his campaign for Folsom City Council in 1976 and appointment as Chairman of the Planning Commission for the City of Folsom that same year. Eldon would serve on the Planning Commission for the City of Folsom through 1980. From the time of his arrival in Folsom in 1970, Eldon was active in the community, a member of Rotary International, a Little League baseball coach and sponsor of the local Boy Scouts of America. On June 8, 1982 Eldon divorced his second wife Carol James in Sacramento, California. On September 10, 1983 he married his third wife Leona E. Franke in Sacramento, California. Eldon met Leona while serving as Chairman of the Folsom Planning Commission. At the time, Leona was working as the city's planner. An affair with Leona led to his separation from Carol and divorce. Following his marriage to Leona Franke, Eldon left the town of Folsom and moved to the town of Madera, Madera County, California. For a few years Eldon then worked for Foster Farms, a chicken and poultry processing company in Merced, California where he worked as a purchasing agent. He then accepted a position as Director of Purchasing for the Madera Unified School District. This is where he would remain until 1994 when he resigned his position as director and opened his own leather crafting business, JAX Leather Company. During his time in Madera, Eldon remained active in Rotary International. He also took up raising mules which he showed in various equine events including Mule Days in Bishop, California. Eldon also became a member of the Single Action Shooting Society ("SASS") in which he competed in period fire arm shooting contests and celebrated living history. His active participation in SASS led him to start his own leather crafting business in which he built historical replica holsters and other leather equipment for the members of SASS. In 2004 Eldon suffered from a stroke, became disabled and was forced into retirement. In 2006 his third wife Leona Franke left him and divorced him in 2010. Between 2010 and his passing in 2014, Eldon remained a loving and devoted father to his son Larry James; and, grandfather to his granddaughter Alexandra "Lexi" Renee James. Eldon died on November 19, 2014 from complications arising from illness. He was cremated and his ashes scattered. A memorial was donated by the U.S. Veteran's Administration and placed in Folsom, California.


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