James Vay Area was born on March 12, 1927 to parents Jess and Wilma Area in Kanona, Kansas. Jim (as his friends knew him) was the eldest of brothers Rex, Max and sister Mary. He is survived by Bonnie Ruth Area, wife of 68 years, sons Jeffrey and Steven, granddaughter Alexis, and great granddaughter Alynah.
Jim grew up as a farmer in Kansas during the Great Depression and at the age of 13 set out on his own. Jim entered the Army at 18 and served faithfully during the tail end of WWII. In 1951 while helping to build the Grand Lake Dam between Disney and Langley, Oklahoma he met and fell in love with his future wife, Bonnie. Once married, they set off to make their fortune in California. Jim worked his way across the country as a millwright. They spent some time in Los Angeles where both of their sons were born and eventually settled in northern California. Jim and Bonnie made their life and home in Castro Valley, California.
Jim worked most of his career with DW Nicholson Corporation. Beginning as a journeyman millwright and eventually overseeing much of their field work as superintendent. Jim was committed to and proud of mentoring the younger people in his life. After 34 years with DW Nicholson, Jim retired at the age of 68.
Jim and Bonnie moved to their home in Modesto, California in 2001, where Jim spent his last years working and playing on their mini, one acre farm. He went to be with the Lord on November 14. 2019.
A viewing for James will be held on Monday, November 25, 2019 from 5-8 P.M. at franklin & Downs Funeral Home McHenry Chapel. On Tuesday, November 26, 2019 a funeral service will be held at Franklin & Downs Funeral Home McHenry Chapel starting at 10 A.M. with a reception to follow. His burial will be held on Wednesday, November 27, 2019 at San Joaquin Valley National Cemetery at 9:30 A.M.
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