James E. Nowinski, of Whittier, California, died Sunday, December 9, 2012 at his home from congestive heart failure.
Born in Hamtramck, Michigan, May 27, 1937, to Irene and Edward Nowinski. At the age of six, Jimmy and his family moved to Tucson, Arizona.
"Big Jim" was an excellent scholar, musician and athlete. He began his education at Saints Peter & Paul Catholic School. Here, he discovered his love for music and took piano lessons for 13 years from the nuns, the Sisters of Charity.
After elementary school, Jim attended Tucson High School, where he earned varsity letters on their championship basketball and baseball teams. He first attended, the University of Michigan on an academic scholarship and won his numerals playing Wolverine football. He completed his education at the University of Arizona, earning a Bachelor of Science Degree in Civil Engineering. Jim played on two Wildcat College World Series baseball teams in 1957 and 1958.
He married in 1961 and enjoyed a wonderful union to his sweetheart Judy for 51 years. Jim and Judy moved to San Luis Obispo, California after their Acapulco honeymoon and eventually settled in Whittier, California to raise their family.
Jim's passion for engineering led him to a job opportunity with the Union Oil Company of Southern California. He worked for 37 years as a true pipeliner and dedicated company man.
Jim lived life with great passion and enjoyed every day to the fullest. He was a devout Catholic and shared his love, passion for sports and music with those he cared for. His hard work ethic, respect for others and discipline in life touched everyone around him. He loved to dance and had a big warm smile. Big Jim was most certainly a factor in making this world a better place.
Jim is survived by his lovely wife Judy, his son Jeffrey, his daughter Jamie, his daughter Janel Kennedy and her husband Greg, his grandchildren Cory, Callie and Troy, his sister Barbara Dervishian and her husband Bill, his niece Karri and nephew Brandon.
A rosary will be held in his honor at 6:30pm, Monday, December 17th at White Emerson Mortuary in Whittier. Funeral services the next day at 10am, Tuesday, December 18th at St. Gregory the Great Catholic Church in Whittier with interment to follow at Queen of Heaven Cemetery in Rowland Heights, CA.
Published in Whittier Daily News on December 15, 2012