On Friday, May 21, 2021, James Vernon Cloward, loving husband and father of three children passed away after a brief illness at the age of 85. Jim was born May 18, 1936 in Modesto, California to R.L and Marie (MacFarlane) Cloward. He was the first graduating class at Thomas Downey High School in 1954, where his friends and classmates knew him as “Joker”. Jim served in the Army from 1959-1962, was stationed in Ft. Leonard Wood, Missouri, and was part of the call-up for the Berlin Crisis. On January 29, 1960, he married Suzanne Marie Boone, a marriage that lasted 61 years. After his military service, Jim would go on to work as a heavy equipment operator for 31 years.
He and his family moved in 1974 to Paloma and then San Andreas, both in Calaveras county, where they would stay for 30 years. During this time, he worked for the Calaveras Public Utilities District for 15 years. Moving back to Modesto in 2003 to be closer to his family, Jim enjoyed RV trips, fishing, playing golf, Dutch oven cooking, and putting together puzzles. He was part of the Modesto Bonsai Club and a lifelong gardener with big, beautiful vegetable gardens. A sports lover, Jim was an avid San Francisco Giants and 49ers fan, and enjoyed attending his children’s and grandchildren’s sporting events. He was also very social throughout his life, being an active member of both SIRS and the Elks.
Jim is survived by his wife Sue, daughter Nicki West and fiancé Steve Tallman with grandson James (Jimmy) West of Modesto, son Michael Cloward and wife Julianne Coffee of Modesto, and son Christopher Cloward and wife Ellen Roehne with granddaughter Avery Cloward and grandson Flynn Cloward of Modesto. Jim is also survived by cousin Jerry Albino and wife Debbie of Modesto, along with his Aunt Bonnie Williams of Fair Oaks.
A Celebration of Life Memorial will be held at Franklin and Downs McHenry Chapel in Modesto on June 10th at 11 AM. In lieu of flowers, please send memorial contributes to the Alexander Cohen Hospice House in Hughson, California.
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Alexander Cohen Hospice House
2201 Euclid Ave, Hughson CA 95326