Long-time Juneau resident, James (Jim) Vuille passed away at Bartlett Regional Hospital, surrounded by relatives and friends on May 12, 2014, He was born October 3, 1929, an only child to Kenneth Eugene and Gladys Minerva Vuille in Wichita Kansas. He lived in Kansas, Missouri, Idaho, Oregon, California with his mother when his father was in Hawaii and Alaska while he was in they Army Transport during the war. Jim and his mother joined his father in Juneau on October 24, 1945. Jim entered Juneau Douglas High School (Second St. in Juneau) October 25,1945. One of the first friends Jim made in high school was a person he had met in Boise, Idaho. It was Doug Boddy. As both were active in the YMCA in swimming. Doug has left Boise in 1941 and moved with his parents to Juneau. Jim graduated with the class in 1947 from Juneau.
Jim enlisted in the Coast Guard in Juneau in 1948. He spent 20 months of his enlistment here in Juneau aboard the cutter Wachassets and buoy tender Storis. After discharged he worked construction, was a bartender and joined the Volunteer Juneau Fire Department and later became one of the two paid drivers. Eventually helping organize the Glacier Valley Volunteer Fire Department and was appointed it's first Volunteer Fire Chief at inception in 1964. Jim became interested in flying and was learning to fly with Rady Pusich flight school. The confidence level for flying the plane bothered him so he gave up learning to fly. His interest in aviation was still strong, so he decided to attend a technical school in California to become certified as an Airplane and Engine Mechanic. In 2003 he received the "Charles Taylor" award for 50 active years in aviation. It was awarded by the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) in honor of Charles Taylor, the first aviation mechanic in powered flight and who served as Wilbur and Orville Wrights mechanic. Prior to Jim's leaving for Glendale, CA, three Nebraska girls came to Juneau for a year. They stayed and all married; Betty Lou Waring (Mrs. Doug Boddy) Norma Jean Bumann (Mrs. James McCorcle) and Elaine Ann Lindell (Mrs. Jame Vuille) All stayed in Juneau, AK.
At Christmas time 1943, Elaine went to Nebraska. Jim had started A&E Mechanic School in October 1953. Elaine came to see Jim in California and they married on December 30, 1953, and received a call from Alaska Coastal. He returned to Juneau in January 1955 and worked at Alaska Coastal Airlines, Alaska Airlines, Southeast Skyways and Federal Aviation Administration. He retired from Alaska Airlines in 1991 and the next day went to work for the FAA retiring from there 2010; he enjoyed working for both Alaska Airlines and the FAA. One of Jim's co-workers called and said during the Alaska Airline strike of 1985 it was wonderful to know Jim as he was in charge and kept his cool throughout the strike and was great to help the airlines operate.
Jim was active with Elks, Pioneers Of Alaska and Resurrection Lutheran Church. In addition he was active in the community with Rifle Club, hunting (deer and moose), fishing, basketball, baseball, referee from 1946-1976. Jim also enjoyed to travel to places such as Nebraska, Hawaii, Mexico, Anchorage, Ketchikan, Sitka, Haines, Skagway, Yakutat and Cordova.
He is survived by his wife Elaine after 60 years together December 30, 2013. His four children, Michael Vuille, his wife Wendy and children, Son Joey, daughter Michelle (Bucky) and children Hunter and Avery, Susan Stephens and children Paul (Hannah) and Gary, Elizabeth chapman (Tate) and children Kalea and Breanne and Robert Vuille and children Dwight, Son Cameron, and Kimberly (Will) son Peyton. Totaling eight grandchildren and four great grandchildren.
A celebration of life will be held on Saturday August 16, 2014 from 2-4pm at Juneau Airport, The Alaska room. Memorial contributions in his name can be made to CCFR for the antique fire truck restoration, which is being done at the Juneau Fire Department. All the Juneau friends know the great times we had all these years from the 1940's-2014
Published in The Juneau Empire on Aug. 13, 2014