June 9, 1938 - Sept. 11, 2012
James Paul Walters passed on September 11, 2012, surrounded by family and dear friends in Bend, Oregon. Born, June 9, 1938, in Covina, Los Angeles County, California, to John and Margaret Walters, Jim was an amazing husband, father, grandfather, and friend to many.
Although Jim was born in Southern California, his family moved to the North Coast in his early childhood. He graduated from Eureka High School in 1958 and soon after enlisted and served in the U. S. Coast Guard. His duties took him to weather school in Connecticut and he served as an Engineman. While enlisted, Jim earned the Coast Guard Medal for Heroism as well as other citations for his initiative, fortitude,
daring, unselfish actions, courage, and unwavering devotion to duty. He was the last Coast Guard Light House Keeper on the Northern California coast. Yet, when asked about his various citations, awards and
medals, Jim would always remark, “I only did what anyone would do.”
After his military service and a short stint of logging, he turned his boyhood love of fishing into his profession. He fished commercially out of Humboldt Bay, as well as several other ports along the coasts of Alaska, Washington, and Oregon for salmon, albacore, snapper, lingcod, and crab to name a few. “Sailfish Jim” loved fishing the ocean and willingly shared his passion with others as a party boat captain of the “E.Z. Sportfisher” and the “Sailfish” out of King Salmon. Many fish stories have been told over a cup of coffee at the café or in the aisles of local bait and tackle shops. Wherever someone had an interest and ear to talk fishing, he was ready!
Most recently, he enjoyed fly-fishing with his wife, Lorraine, along the Crooked River of Oregon, fishing off the deck of their patio boat on local lakes, as well as catching crab with his friend Phil over on the coast. While living in Oregon, Jim worked as a ranch manager with his wife. He enjoyed spotting wildlife - bunnies and quail in the yard, herds of elk, deer, and antelope; planting fields of grain and watching them grow; chopping firewood to keep the wood box full; feeding the horses and mules, as well as managing elk herds. Animals as well as people were drawn to his kindness and gentle heart.
His family and friends will remember him for these qualities as well as his sparkling blue eyes, which often hinted at his mischievous nature and great sense of humor. We will remember his ready and hearty laughter over good jokes and reminisces of numerous fun-loving pranks. Grandchildren will miss being chased around, tickled and teased by Papa and will remember him for his integrity, high expectations, and joyful happiness as he visited and spent time with them. Likewise, he will be remembered for his oversized caring heart demonstrated through numerous acts of generosity and regular acts of humble kindness to family, friends, and total strangers. Yet, one of his greatest legacies to his family is that he was a man of great faith in God. He appreciated a good sermon, reading his Bible, prayer, and led by example.
Jim is survived by and will be sorely missed by his wife, Lorraine; her son, Heath (Sarah) Browning; his daughters, Cori (Keith) Borges, Ariel Dorfman (Harry Dorfman), and Hillary (Scott) McClurg; his grandchildren, Trinity and Sage Browning; Clarissa and Gillian Borges, Garrett Hudson, Dustan and Brandi Fulbright, Paige, Ryley, and Nolan McClurg; great-grandaughter, Elizibeth Layne Shreeve; his brother and sister-in-law, Ted and Joanne Walters; his nephew, Johnny (Carole) Toler; his sister and brother-in-law, Diana and Joe Gazarek and brother and sister-in-law Dick and Lisa McCracken. He was preceded in death by his parents, his sister, Helen Crone and his daughter, Shelli Fulbright.
If desired, please make memorial donations to Westside Church, 2051 NW Shevlin Park Road, Bend, Oregon 97701. These funds will be used to help send children to church camp.