James Richard Vculek, died peacefully on May 8, 2014 in Anchorage, at the age of 73. He will forever live on in the lives he touched and in the workmanship of beautiful treasures he created during his lifetime.
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Jim was born in Nebraska, on June 28, 1940 and raised in Wahoo, where he attended school at St. Wenceslaus Catholic Church. He joined the Coast Guard and served from 1958 to 1963. During this time he discovered Alaska and fell in love with this great land. He moved to Valdez after the 1964 earthquake, where he helped relocate and rebuild the town. He attended Carpentry Apprentice Training in Anchorage then moved back to Valdez where he lived over 30 years, building a life and raising a family with his then wife, Dian Rhoden.
Known as a guy who could build anything, Jim left an indelible stamp on the community he lived in by working on various building projects around Valdez and Anchorage. He also built homes around Valdez including his own, which is still owned by the family. In 1997, Jim moved to Anchorage and continued to apply his skills as a tradesman to various carpentry jobs around town and in remote locations over the years. He spent many hours socializing with friends at AMVETS Post 2 and was a life member of AMVETS. He was a trustee of the Valdez Fraternal Order of Eagles Aerie #1971 and a life member.
Jim is predeceased by his brother, Michael Joseph; his father Joseph; his mother Rosalie; and son-in-law Alan L. Gage. He is survived by his brother Joseph Vculek of Wahoo, Nebraska; his sister Barbara Velinsky of Omaha, Nebraska; brother-in-law Charles Velinsky of Omaha, Nebraska; daughter Dalon Gage and grandsons Payton and Jarrett, who reside in Carlton, Oregon; his daughter Janel Vculek who resides in Anchorage; along with many nephews and nieces.
A Celebration of Life will be held on Friday, July 11, 2014, starting at 5:00 p.m., at the Fraternal Order of Eagles in Valdez, Alaska. Please join family and friends to celebrate the life of this amazing man.
"My father didn't tell me how to live: he lived and let me watch him do it."
Published in Alaska Dispatch News from July 6 to July 7, 2014