James Stark

Obituary of James Edward Stark

James E. Stark, 85, passed away unexpectedly October 22, 2010 at Dominican Hospital .He is survived by his loving wife of twenty-six years, Ann Tanner Stark, two daughters Cynthia A. Swensen (Alan) and Christine M. Eddow (Jim) and six grandchildren, Chelsea, Ashley, and Alan Jr., Swensen, Kyle Jaynes, and Blake and Dylan Eddow, his niece Kathryn Hill (Paul), a nephew, James Foard, two great nephews Chris Hill and Greg Hill, and many more nephews and nieces by marriage. Jim was born in St. Louis, MO, on September 6, 1925, and spent his early childhood in Mountain Grove, Missouri, with his grandparents at their farm. His parents were James Ova Stark and Gertrude Ruth Byer Stark. In 1933, during the depression, Jim, his brother Jerry and sister Betty came to San Francisco, California, with their mother. His father remained at his work in St. Louis and joined them later. Jim attended elementary school and Polytechnic High School in San Francisco. He served in the US Navy from 1943 to November 1945 and then returned to Polytechnic High School, graduating in January, 1947. By then he had married his high school sweetheart Eunice Mary Kirkwood Stark. Jim continued his education at University of California, Berkeley, School of Business Administration, and graduated in 1951 with a B.Sc. He then commenced a long career in the automobile industry, working first for Chevrolet and then American Motors. The family moved to Michigan in 1967 and Jim became National Fleet Sales Manager. Eunice's health concerns brought the family back to California in 1976 and she died that year at their home in Los Altos. The nineteen-eighties found Jim retired and moving to Aptos. He and Ann were married in October, 1984. They toured Europe for a year camping in twenty-one countries in a Volkswagen "Vanagon". When they returned, Jim did some serious sailing up and down the coast and part owned a Catalina 30 at Santa Cruz Harbor. He joined Habitat for Humanity and helped to build twenty-four homes in Santa Cruz County, going to the sites every Tuesday and Saturday and extra days when needed. He was very proud of working alongside President Carter on an Indian Reservation in South Dakota, during a one week "Blitz Build" in 1993. He also worked as a volunteer with the Friends of Hospice, helping with small building projects. Always a family man, Jim's happiest days were when his grandchildren were born and they remember him as a fun loving, joyful grandpa. He was a very active man and never too tired or unwilling to spend time with them. He enjoyed football and rooted for his Sturdy Golden Bears and the San Francisco 49' ers in their hey day. Jim endured the slow progression of Alzheimer's disease for the last five years and most recently was living for several months at Maple House 11. The family wishes to thank Sarah Chen and the dedicated staff and caregivers for their loving care, kindness and patience. A celebration of Jim's life will be held at Benito & Azzaro Pacific Gardens Chapel 1050 Cayuga St, Santa Cruz, CA on Thursday October 28 at 11:00 am, followed by a reception at Michael's on Main, 2591 Main St, Soquel, CA. In lieu of flowers the family prefers contributions be made in Jim's honor to Habitat For Humanity, 1014 Cedar St., Santa Cruz, CA 95060 or to Alzheimer's Association of Santa Cruz, 1777 Capitola Rd, Santa Cruz, CA 95062
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A Memorial Tree was planted for James
We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at Benito & Azzaro Pacific Gardens Chapel
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