JAMES ARTHUR WAER
Apr. 3, 1945 - Feb. 26, 2014
James Arthur Waer (Jim) - Eagle Scout, expert whistler, world traveler, joke lover, birdwatcher extraordinaire, musician and music lover, golf enthusiast, and
beloved husband, father, grandfather, uncle, and friend, died on February 26, 2014, in his San Diego home. He was 68.
Jim loved telling "groaner" jokes. He often read joke books to fall asleep and had an amazing talent for remembering those silly jokes – which his family will dearly miss hearing. He also had a remarkable talent for whistling any tune from any genre of music – from classical Beethoven to old-time barbershop quartet to the musical "Phantom of the Opera". No one could out-whistle Jim.
Born in Whittier, CA, Jim was a life-long musician. His love of music began at age three, when he started playing trumpet just after his family moved to El Centro, CA. From there, he enjoyed great success playing with many groups, orchestras, and bands from elementary school in El Centro through his college years at USC where he performed through a music scholarship in the Trojan marching band. (Jim earned his Doctor of Pharmacy degree at USC and was a lifelong Trojan
football fan.) Rarely did he hear a classical piece of music on the radio that he hadn't played. He took up classical guitar in his more mature years and enjoyed playing many different pieces from the traditional "Spanish Ballad" to Paul McCartney's version of "Inchworm." One of his favorite pastimes was sitting with family and friends while playing and listening to music together.
After devoting 30 years to Eli Lilly & Co. in various capacities, Jim "retired" as a senior pharmacy consultant for California Department of Public Health. He took great pride in his work in the health care field - where he strived to make a positive difference in the lives of others through pharmacy - and was devoted to it until the end.
Jim was the smartest, kindest, gentlest man you ever would want to meet. His favorite times were those spent with his family. An avid photographer, he especially enjoyed taking family photos of everyone gathered around the table to memorialize every event. An enthusiastic Padres baseball fan, he spent many great moments with family and friends at games in San Diego.
He is survived by his loving wife of 43 years, Kathryn Steele Waer; daughters Rebecca and Christine (Josh Van Kirk); son, Andrew (Amy Pace); grandson, Felix; sister Marilyn Dansby (Dan); and mother, Dorothy.
Jim will be deeply missed, and lives on in the hearts of all those who knew and loved him. His joyful, gracious, loving spirit can be summed up best through his favorite quote (by his favorite storyteller, Garrison Keillor): "Be well, do good work, and keep in touch."
The family will hold a memorial service and celebration of his life at San Carlos United Methodist Church in San Diego on Friday, March 7, 2014, at 1 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations be made to UCSD Moores Cancer Center in La Jolla, and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, to further research to find a cure for the blood cancer he fought so bravely for so long.