James E. Egger

James E. Egger January 8, 1923 ~ August 15, 2013 A celebration of Jim's life will be held at noon on Thursday, September 5, 2013 at Deer Park Villa, Fairfax. Refreshments following. On August 15, 2013, James E. Egger passed away peacefully at his home in Ross after a short illness. He was comforted by his favorite view of Mount Tam just outside his window. Jim was a lifelong resident of Marin County. Ninety years earlier, his parents, E.L. (Larry) and Norma, took the ferry from their home in Mill Valley to San Francisco, so that he could be born in a hospital. Jim lived an active life with his wife of 67 years, Margie and his children, Jay (Steve), Cynthia, Steve (Stacy) and the late Sandra and grandchildren, Chris and Missy. Jim graduated from Tam High and attended Ohio State University. When WWII called, he enlisted in the Navy, but heard that the Merchant Marines needed personnel immediately. He started training right away, becoming an officer in the US Maritime Marine Service. Jim served on Liberty ships from San Francisco to ports around Indian Ocean, from Tasmania to Ceylon to Mozambique. His military service ended shortly after he crossed through the Golden Gate with Mt. Tam welcoming him home on VJ day. This experience changed his outlook on life and he returned to Ohio State to graduate in 1946. While there he met Marjorie Davis, who he married just after graduation. He came back to Mill Valley and joined his father in the nursery business. He grew that into E.L Egger and Son Nurseries, which he expanded into stores in Mill Valley, Kentfield and Novato. Within a couple of years, Jim and Margie left Mill Valley for the Ross Valley to raise their family. As an avid sportsman, Jim especially enjoyed hunting and fishing. He started as a child fishing the creeks of Southern Marin and moved onto hunting and fishing throughout North America. He shot many Boone and Crockett Trophy animals, including a world class Moose that was displayed at Carnegie Museum. He was the 47th person to shoot a Grand Slam of North American Wild Sheep and a few years later shot another Grand Slam, thus joining a select group of fewer than twenty to have ever accomplished this. He was fortunate to be able to enjoy hunting and fishing until this past year. He was an avid golfer, playing mostly at the Meadow Club in Fairfax and Wailea Golf Club in Maui. While his children were growing up, he entertained and delighted them with his water and snow skiing abilities. Jim and Margie loved to travel, something they did up until last year when they went to West Africa for a month. They were in one of the first groups to travel to the People's Republic of China. They thought nothing of a little adventure, like when Jim was in his mid-70s, going white water rafting trip to celebrate an anniversary with the family and complaining that there wasn't enough white water rapids or when they decided to rent a car and drive from Warsaw to Moscow when Jim was in his mid-80s. He was happy to see parts of 75 countries and found something good about the people in each one of them. Jim's community was very important to him and he volunteered with many groups, donating generously to organizations he believed in. He joined the Mill Valley Rotary Club in 1955 and was active member his whole life where he became a Paul Harris Fellow and past president. He was a fifty year member of the Masonic Lodge of Mill Valley. During his years as a nurseryman, he served as a state board member of the California Association of Nurserymen. He was also a strong supporter of the California Certified Nurseryman Program, which provided a minimum knowledge level of retail nursery workers. He served as a Board Member of the Master Nurseryman's Association, a group of independent nurseries he strongly believed in. He was a proud member of the American Legion Post 313 (Larkspur), as well as the American Merchant Marine Veterans, Jeremiah O'Brian Chapter (San Rafael). He actively supported the National Rifle Association, Foundation for North American Wild Sheep, the Grand Slam Club and a Charter member of Boone and Crockett Associates Program. Boy Scouts were a prominent part of Jim's life, starting as a Cub Scout in Pack 1 moving on to Troop 2 in Mill Valley. He was honored to achieve the rank of Eagle Scout and very proud to be the father of both sons being Eagle Scouts. He was active in the Marin Council of the Boy Scouts of America for 50 years serving in many capacities-Scout Master to Board Member to President. He was a Distinguished Eagle Scout and received the Silver Beaver Award for his service to the Boy Scouts. During his years of service, one never knew what he enjoyed more--leading a 50 mile hike, coordinating a work party at one of the camps owned by the Council or serving on the Council Board. He was proud to attend Steve's stepson, Mason's Eagle Scout Court of Honor and relished hearing about his great grandnephew, Joey's progress to almost completing his Eagle Scout requirements before he passed. Besides his immediate family, Jim leaves behind a tight knit group of nieces and nephews, their spouses and families. Jim loved people and will be missed by a large group of friends; those he has known since childhood, hunting buddies, business associates and people he has met over the years. They were all important to him. The entire family wishes to recognize and thank Hospice by the Bay for the incredible care and support they provided during Jim's final days. The family requests that memorial donations in his name be made to either: The Mill Valley Rotary Service Fund, Inc. - Permanent Endowment Fund, Hospice by the Bay or Marin Council of the Boy Scouts of America.

Published in Marin Independent Journal from Aug. 31 to Sept. 4, 2013