James Alan Cusator

1919 - 2013 Obituary Condolences
James Alan Cusator Obituary
James Alan Cusator 1919 - 2013 James Alan Cusator passed away on January 15th. James is survived by his wife, Betty, three children and their spouses: Pegeen and David Witt, Valerie and Dan Bertolucci, and James and Laura Cusator, and seven grandchildren: Courtland and Andrew Witt, Cole and Vienna Bertolucci and Krista, Austin and Tessa Cusator. He also leaves behind two brothers, Donald and spouse Carol Cusator, and Gene Cusator, and many loved nephews and nieces. Jim was born May 10, 1919 into one of the original pioneering families of Stutsman County, North Dakota. He was the first of five children of James and Judith Cusator. He was raised in a small rural town, Cleveland, North Dakota where he lived through his teenage years. It was the experiences of these early years in a working class town, learning the values taught to him by his parents, enduring and surviving the Great Depression and the untimely, early death of his father that molded our father into a person of high character and one who cherished his family relationships and work. These events thrust our father into a role that many young men do not have to bear at such an early age. He was also influenced a great deal during his experiences in World War II. He enlisted in the United States Army Air Force where he eventually became a Captain. He flew B29s with the 73rd bomb wing in the Pacific Theater. After his service he completed his education years at Jamestown College in North Dakota and the University of Texas. His education led to his employment as a petroleum engineer with Core Laboratories. He worked 38 years with Core Lab until his retirement. After traveling and living in various locations in North and South America his job landed him a permanent location in Bakersfield, California. He retired as a vice president and manager of the California division. It was during his early years in Bakersfield that he met our mother, Betty. They met in the laundry room of their apartment complex where our mother watched our father wash a new red coat with a load of whites. Instead of helping the poor guy she just laughed hysterically when a good portion of his wardrobe and sheets turned pink. Instead of leaving in embarrassment it led to a first date and then eventually to a wonderful marriage. Our father lived his life by an unwavering code of integrity, honor, strong work ethic, fairness and loyalty. He was unflappable from his commitment to these principles. When he gave you his word or made a deal with you, it was a look in the eye and a handshake and the deal was done regardless if the outcome became unfavorable to him. As we have all matured and acquired our own increasing responsibilities, occupations, spouses and children it has become painfully evident on how hard a path it is to consistently live up to these principles. Like many of his generation the Great Depression had a profound effect on our father. He valued work and excelling at it. He did not dwell on his misfortunes but showed up everyday and truly participated in every moment of his life. Despite his high demands at work, he rarely missed an opportunity to spend time with his family. He went from work to the soccer pitch and football fields, to the tennis courts and the ballet and concert halls with relative ease. He was our coach, our motivator, our educator and our biggest fan. When we questioned him about his ability to have such an incredible full schedule one of his favorite quotes was, "You will have plenty of time to sleep when you are dead." He led with quiet confidence. He was not an orator but often just a certain look or gesture and a perfectly timed voice of inspiration or constructive criticism guided us through our trials and tribulations. Your loss to us is immeasurable. We love you. We miss you. We will never forget you. Unfortunately we are very selfish and we do not want to let you sleep now that you have passed, because we still need your guidance through the rest of our lives. Special thanks to Dr. William Baker, Molly Waite and staff, Alternative Care especially Sue and Isabeti "B", and Hoffmann Hospice. As per our father's request services will be private. In lieu of flowers, please send any donations in memory of James Alan Cusator, to the Institutional Advancement Office, Jamestown College, 6082 College Lane, Jamestown, North Dakota, 58405. Education meant everything to our father and he was very proud to be a graduate of Jamestown College. www.bakersfield.com/obits
Published in Bakersfield Californian from Jan. 25 to Jan. 27, 2013
Read More