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JAMES WASHBURN

James "The Bear" Howard Washburn 1940 - 2012 Resident of Oakley James Howard Washburn was born March 15, 1940 in Lawrence County, Tennessee and left us quietly in his sleep on October 5, 2012. Jim, otherwise known as, "The Bear" loved life and his life was well lived. He is survived by his wife of 26 years, Valeria Huichan Washburn and their daughter, Alexandria Huichan Washburn of Burlingame, CA. Jim was preceded in death by his first wife, Janet "Mouse" Hoopes, his parents, James Louis Washburn and Rena Gericelda (Cummings) Washburn and his only sibling, Dorothy Roberts. Jim's proof of birth was an entry in the family bible and he did not receive a birth certificate until 1945. While growing up Jim's dream was to become a motorcycle police officer which he pursued after graduating from Hayward High in 1958 and attending California State University, Los Angeles where he played football, worked in the school cafeteria and was a member of the TEK fraternity. He received a BA in criminal justice administration and minored in abnormal psychology. Jim finished college on a Friday and the following Monday entered the Oakland Police Department's Training Academy. He was an Oakland Police Officer for 25 years, rising to the rank of Sergeant assigned to Motors. Jim also proudly served in the US Marine Corps and was honorably discharged on November 19, 1969 with the rank of Sergeant. He retired from OPD on October 12, 1987 and two months later his daughter was born. Jim and his daughter were inseparable. He was proud to call himself a "Mr. Mom" and often joked how having been a Police Officer was good training for raising a daughter. He often remarked how the years spent raising Alex were the best of his life and wished he had more children. He was a 22 year resident of Oakley, Ca, also having resided for many years in Hayward, Alameda and in Oakland. He loved animals and was well known in the neighborhood for carrying treats in his pocket for friendly dogs as he walked his dachshund "Taddy". Jim was a voracious reader, enjoyed camping, fishing, motorcycle trips to Yosemite with friends and day trips locally. In his younger years he enjoyed water & snow skiing with his lifelong friend Robbie Wallace. He frequently met long time friend Nicky Nicosia for lunch, played golf (on Tuesdays) with buddies Charles Townsend, "Nish" Nishijima and fellow retired Oakland Police Officer Richard McCullough. Jim was a long time member of Le Societe De Camaraderie, Municipal Motorcycle Officers Association and a Member of the Marine Corps League with the Delta Diablo Det. #155 in Brentwood Ca. James Howard Washburn was a devoted son, husband, father, uncle, and friend. He will be missed by all who knew him and is an inspiration for a life well lived. A private viewing was held on October 07, 2012.

Published in Contra Costa Times on Oct. 12, 2012
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