On August 15, 2013, James E. Egger passed away peacefully at his home in Ross after a short illness. Jim was a lifelong resident of Marin County. Jim lived an active life with his wife of 67 years, Margie and his children, Jay (Steve), Cynthia, Steve (Stacey) and the late Sandra and grandchildren, Chris, Missy, Ellen and Mason. Jim graduated from Tam High and attended Ohio State University. When World War II called, he enlisted in the Navy, but heard that the Merchant Marines needed personnel immediately. He started training right away, becoming an officer in the US Maritime Marine Service. Jim served on Liberty ships from San Francisco to ports around Indian Ocean, from Tasmania to Ceylon to Mozambique. His military service ended shortly after he crossed through the Golden Gate on VJ day. After graduating from Ohio State after the war, he returned to Mill Valley and joined his father in the nursery business. He grew that into E.L Egger and Son Nurseries, which he expanded into stores in Mill Valley, Kentfield and Novato. As an avid sportsman, Jim especially enjoyed hunting and fishing. He started as a child fishing the creeks of Southern Marin and moved onto hunting and fishing throughout North America. Jim and Margie loved to travel, something they did up until last year when they went to West Africa for a month. They thought nothing of a little adventure, like when Jim was in his mid-70s, going white water rafting trip to celebrate an anniversary with the family and complaining that there wasn't enough white water rapids or when they decided to rent a car and drive from Warsaw to Moscow when Jim was in his mid-80s. He was happy to see parts of 75 countries and found something good about the people in each one of them. Jim's community was very important to him and he volunteered with many group. He joined the Mill Valley Rotary Club in 1955 and he was active member of Rotary for over 60 years where he became a Paul Harris Fellow. During his years as a nurseryman, he served as a state board member of the California Association of Nurserymen. He was also a strong supporter of the California Certified Nurseryman Program, which provided a minimum knowledge level of retail nursery workers. He served as a Board Member of the Master Nurseryman's Association, a group of independent nurseries he strongly believed in. He was a proud member of the American Legion Post 313 (Larkspur), as well as the American Merchant Marine Veterans, Jeremiah O'Brian Chapter (San Rafael) and the Masonic Lodge. He actively supported the National Rifle Association, Foundation for North American Wild Sheep, the Grand Slam Club and a Charter member of Boone and Crockett Associates Program. Boy Scouts were a prominent part of Jim's life, starting as a Cub Scout in Pack 1 moving on to Troop 2 in Mill Valley. He was honored to achieve the rank of Eagle Scout and very proud to be the father of both sons being Eagle Scouts. He was a Distinguished Eagle Scout and received the Silver Beaver Award for his service to the Boy Scouts for over 50 years. The entire family wishes to recognize and thank Hospice by the Bay for the incredible care and support they provided during Jim's final days. The family requests that memorial donations in his name be made to either: The Mill Valley Rotary Service Fund, Inc. - Permanent Endowment Fund, Hospice by the Bay or Marin Council of the Boy Scouts of America. A celebration of Jim's life will be held at noon on Thursday, September 5, 2013 at Deer Park Villa, Fairfax. Refreshments following.
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Published Online in the Press Democrat from Sept. 4 to Sept. 6, 2013