August 11, 1924 - June 11, 2013 |
Jim Mount, architect, community builder and outstanding conversationalist, died of natural causes on June 11, 2013, surrounded by his family in the home he designed. His wife of 64 years, Ruth Daugherty Mount, with whom he built a thriving architectural practice in Santa Monica and the Los Angeles Westside, died in 2011; he often remarked that she had "won the prize by crossing the finish line first." Theirs was a romance of great and mutual delight, characterized by world travel, excellent gastronomy, and a phalanx of happy children and grandchildren.
A long-time supporter of the Santa Monica Family YMCA, as both architect and board chair, he would snatch up plans at a moment's notice and be on site to address any building complication that arose at their facility on 5th Street. He worked to keep Santa Monica as affordable for people today as it was when he and Ruth were married here in 1947, and served as board chair of Community Corporation of Santa Monica, building low-income housing throughout the city. He was a past president of the Community Chest, the Sunrise Optimist Club and the Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce. He served as a member of the city's Building and Safety Commission and Architectural Review Board, and on the General Advisory Board of Santa Monica College.
He was frequently seen wearing a sweatshirt that said "still plays with cars" and spent more than 20 years volunteering with the Pit Crew at the Peterson Automotive Museum, as well as publishing their volunteer newsletter. At the age of 87, he took a solo driving tour of the United States in his Mini Cooper convertible, visiting friends, family and automotive museums. He had a love affair with all means of conveyance, including bicycles, horses, sailboats and jets. He even liked to take the bus.
A native of Portland, Oregon, Jim was the son of Robert Merle and Marjorie Barstow Kennicott Mount, and brother of Ronald Mount. He moved to Los Angeles as an adolescent and graduated from John Marshall High School. Following service in the Marines during World War II, he earned his architecture degree from USC.
Jim Mount is survived by his four children and their spouses, Debbie and Jim Osterholt, Steven and Pam Mount, Jeffrey Mount & Barbara Evoy, and Lisa Mount & MK Wegmann. He was the proud grandfather of five grandchildren, Katie Osterholt Ehret, Austin Mount, Dane Mount, Matty Evoy-Mount and Max Evoy-Mount.
The family will hold a private service. Contributions in his memory, in lieu of flowers, may be made to the Santa Monica Family YMCA. www.ymcasm.org
Published in the Los Angeles Times from June 15 to June 16, 2013