James Edward Starr, Sr. passed away on October 15, 2019 at the age of 97. Jim was born on February 9, 1922 in Honolulu, Hawaii to Audrey Leah Waidler and Carleton Aaron Starr. He was the eldest of three children. His brother, Hartley Irving (Jug), and sister, Nadine Mae, both preceded him in death. Jim lived in Hawaii with his parents until the age of two and then the family moved to Southern California, eventually finding a permanent home in Anaheim. Jim graduated from Anaheim High School in 1940.
Jim first noticed Helen Cram when his family moved into her neighborhood in the summer of 1935. They became friends and dated off and on through high school. They married in Santa Ana, California on August 16, 1941 and were later sealed in the Los Angeles temple on June 21, 1956. They shared 72 wonderful years together. Helen was the love of his life and his best friend.
Jim worked hard his entire life. At the age of 12 he worked alongside his dad doing custodial work before school, next was the Coast Malt Shop, and after high school he worked for Douglas Aircraft until 1944. With his defense plant position and his marital status, Jim did not have to enter military service. Watching so many of his friends get drafted and go off to war, Jim made the decision to voluntarily serve his country. He served in the United States Navy during World War II from 1944-1946 aboard two aircraft carriers, the U.S.S Boxer and the U.S.S Tarawa, earning the rank of Aviation Boatswain’s Mate Third Class.
After the war Jim worked several different jobs, but finally found a career with the Anaheim Fire Department in 1954. For the next 23 years he worked on both engine and truck companies, retiring in 1977 as the Captain of Truck 6. In 1967 he received the Outstanding Fireman award and in 1970 he was given the Community Service award. Jim loved his time on the fire department.
Jim enjoyed keeping busy and had many hobbies throughout his life. After the war he and his buddy built a hot rod and they raced on the straightaway speed runs on Southern California’s dry lake beds and at Bonneville Salt Flats. At the age of 70, Jim started studying archaeology. He took evening classes sponsored by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management and after three years became a Level III avocational archaeologist. He worked on digs in Southern Utah for ten years.
Jim was baptized a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on June 2, 1954. He was a great example of love of God and love of country. He spent 35 years volunteering for the Boy Scouts of America. In 1960 he was asked to serve as the Scoutmaster for the Northern Orange County Council for the National Jamboree held in Colorado Springs where they celebrated the 50th anniversary of scouting in the United States. Jim held numerous church callings throughout his life including Stake High Councilor, Assistant in the High Priest Group and temple worker. Jim and Helen also served two missions together. The first mission was to St. George, Utah and the second to the temple visitor’s center in Laie, Hawaii.
Jim is survived by his four children: James E. Starr, Jr. (Colleen), Carole Grothe, Robin (Gerry) Smith and Tamara Starr along with 10 grandchildren, 27 great grandchildren and 1 great, great granddaughter. He was preceded in death by his wife Helen, his grandson Donald James Grothe, and his son-in-law Donald John Grothe.
The family wishes to thank Dr. Richard K. Olsen for taking care of their dad for many years. They also appreciate the great work of his physical therapist, Quin Warnick, Morgan Haveron (his favorite CNA!), Natalie Haveron, RN and Rachel Arave, RN from Utah Home Health & Hospice who tenderly cared for him to the very end. To the staff at Highland Glen: You saw us through the highs and lows for the past 6 months. Your kindness will not be forgotten.
Funeral services will be held Saturday, October 26, 2019 at 1:00 p.m. in the Grove Creek Fourth Ward Chapel located at 942 North 500 East, Pleasant Grove. Family and friends may attend a viewing from 12:00 - 12:45 p.m. prior to the services. Interment with military honors will be in the Kanab City Cemetery (Hwy 89 - 300 South) Monday, October 28, 2019 at 12 noon. Condolences may be sent to the family at www.olpinmortuary.com.
To send flowers to James' family, please visit our floral section.