James (Jim) died peacefully in his sleep in the early hours of July 12 at Casa de Modesto after battling various ailments for many months. Although his body weakened, Jim remained alert and well informed about sports and politics. And he continued to welcome the frequent visits by loving friends and family.
In the year 2000 Jim was preceded in death by Belva, his loving wife of 54 years. Also preceding him were two brothers, and two sisters. He is survived by two sisters Ruth Poole and Alice Leisure living in Kansas near where they grew up, as well as several nieces and nephews of the Sherman family. He also leaves his nephew and niece Ron and Patty Lynch of Seattle and their children, Darcy, Dawn, and Ron Lynch II. He leaves his dear friends and caregivers Jim and Kay Myers, and he leaves his closest friends and caregivers Gwen and Les Larsen and their three daughters Lu Haussler (David), Karen Gordon (Phil), and Emily O’Hair (Bob), along with their children, Gretchen and Travis, Erik and Nate, and Lindsay and Tim. These were the children and grandchildren he and Belva loved as their own.
Jim led a full and adventurous life: an eight letter high school athlete, a World War II veteran of the Paratroopers, a business owner and farmer when first moving to Waterford, California, in 1946, a credentialed science teacher at Manteca High School and Thomas Downey High School, a holder of a Masters Degree from University of the Pacific, Assistant Principal at Beyer High School, Principal at Modesto High School, and an avid and accomplished golfer. He liked to recall carrying a single digit handicap until he was 76 years old, then shooting his age or under numerous times in his eighties.
After Belva’s death, Jim was a self-sufficient bachelor - continuing to drive his van to his Yuma home every fall, returning to Homewood Village in the spring, doing his own cooking and housekeeping, reading, fishing, golfing, exercising and managing his own health care until he needed assistance a few years back, when he moved to Casa de Modesto. He was a model of growing old with love and intelligence and without senility until his death at age 97.
Jim’s wish of having no funeral will be honored. His and Belva’s ashes will be laid to rest at Lakewood Memorial Park.