James S. Muhlstein, 88, died of lung cancer, at his home in Oakmont, December, 23rd. James is survived by his wife, Joan Childress Muhlstein and her two children; a daughter Jody Bare of Santa Cruz and also Jody's three children, Wesley Grant Bare, in Santa Cruz; Flora Bare McKeon, of New York, and Leigha Bare Gafurri, of Camarillo, Ca., and also, Joan's son, William H. Crafton, of Lubbock, Tx. James, better known as Jim, graduated from the California Maritime Acadamy at Vallejo in 1944, he served as third mate and second mate on various Merchant ships in the Pacific until 1946. After the war, Jim returned to his hometown, Ventura, Ca. He enrolled at UCLA, graduating in 1949 with a BS in Business Administration. He worked in Sales for several companies and since he had played in bands since he was sixteen, he continued working part-time as a musician, playing the trumpet and the piano. He was a member of the Musicians Union, from which he resigned when his work at Los Angeles County claimed him full-time. He entered the service of the Los Angeles County as a Personnel Analyst .in 1955, working in several positions at the City of Los Angeles. In 1962 he moved to Chicago to be the National Program Director of the Great Books Foundation, a non-profit organization devoted to the promotion of reading and discussion of Great Books nation-wide. Jim was also instrumental in developing and implementing the Junior Great Books program, whereby students in grades six through nine were introduced to the reading and discussion of Great Books, a project he felt students would profit from. By 1965, the winter snows and simmering summers of Chicago had become a heavy burden and he returned to work at the Los Angeles City Department of Water and Power. Jim worked at Los Angeles City Employees' Retirement System in several different positions. When he retired in 1981 he held the position of Manager of the Police and Fireman's Retirement Fund. Jim had visited friends in Santa Rosa and had decided he wanted to move to the City of Trees and Oakmont when he retired. Jim loved tennis and was an excellent singles player as well as a team player. He played several times a week and was known as having a fearful serve. Jim continued his pianist skills at Oakmont, playing popular forties and fifties songs on many occasions. Jim also stayed involved in the financial markets on a daily basis until illness prevented his participation. The family wishes to thank Sutter Care At Home Team; they were a most helpful and compassionate resource during his last weeks of illness.
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Published Online in the Press Democrat from Feb. 14 to Feb. 15, 2014