Jim came into this world and into his mother's arms at 7:45 p.m. on his mother's birthday, Jan. 22, 1943. He was a gift from God and returned to Him from the arms of his wife, Audrey, at 2:22 a.m. on Nov. 14, 2012.
He died from pancreatic cancer, a diagnosis reported to us at 9:10 a.m. on Nov. 9, 2011. Although, the diagnosis was not reported until November, Jim and I felt the tumor was rearing its ugly head at least a year prior to that. He fought the damn thing, for a little over a year until he tired of the pain and agony it inflicted on his body and the lives of his family and friends. He fought the battle as he lived his life, with grace and humility. He exhibited courage and strength above and beyond the call of duty.
He touched the lives of many throughout the years. But more importantly, the example he set and the things he did in this last year touched more lives and will continue to impact others in the future. I could be flowery and go on and on like you see in many obits, but Jim really didn't care for BS like that. He worked hard, lived simply and never really complained. Though small of stature due to polio as a child and being in an iron lung for a year, he was a "Giant of a Man."
He usually had a smile on his face and a twinkle in his eye.
He served his country in the Army during the 1960s and early on, served his church. He worked as a beautician and had his own shop for a time where he catered to and doted over "little old ladies." He drove 18 wheelers ("Good Buddy"), instructed others in driving 18 wheelers and for a time, stepped into management of other "Good Buddies."
He was a traveling salesman for a janitorial company for several years, then went to the other end of the broom as a custodian for the Emmett School District for 18 years which led him to a management position in the Meridian School District for four years. He ended his working career with what he called "his dream job," driving the mobile mammography unit for St. Luke's Hospital. He referred to the employees (all women) of breast care services as "his harem." He often said, "How many men do you know, who have a harem and a wife and it totally okay with all parties concerned?"
If you haven't noticed by now, there is not a picture accompanying this obituary. We chose not to have a picture, but rather have people remember Jim with their personal pictures and memories of him. It used to irritate him when pictures showed up in the obituaries and it was of a younger, healthier individual than was pictured as you read the obit. "Nobody looks that good when they die." We are also choosing not to recant those who preceded him in death. Jim's life, particularly with regards to the last year, was about living, not about dying.
Jim is survived by his wife, Audrey aka "Nurse Rachit," of 35 years. Our anniversary was Oct. 29, 2012. He was also survived by his daughter, Andrea Webb, PhD. (Brian) of Medford Mass.; Captain David J. Bowers, (Ashleigh); granddaughters, Leighton Elizabeth and Emily James all of Richmond Hill, Ga.; Michael Bowers, Boise, Idaho; Ryan Linford, Boise; "adopted son and family," Nick and Marcie Solterbeck, "adopted grandchildren, Logan and Abbie Solterbeck all of Emmett; "adopted Grandma" Donna May, Meridian, Idaho; mother, Esther Walbert, Sutherland, Neb.; special friends: Steve and Terry Lennox, Ron and Elly Moomey, Loretta Nasker, Eric Turner, Lori and Jack Stom, Dee Sarton; and our extended family of St. Luke's Breast Care Services.
Other survivors include siblings, step-siblings, numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, in-laws, etc.; Claire Bowers (Darlene), Ontario, Ore.; Ted Bowers, (JennyLou), Washington; Kent Bowers (Terry) Ontario; Loren Bowers (Robin), Weiser, Idaho; Diana Thorsted (Larry) Utah; Anita Zeus (Tony) Maryland; and sister-in-law, Yvonne McNulty, Ontario.
For people wishing to show support with something tangible, Jim would want plants not flowers. Flowers die, plants live. If so desired they could be sent to the Potters Funeral Chapel or to the Bower's home. For those wishing to donate to a cause, donations in Jim's name can be made to MSTI, please specify for pancreatic cancer research or to St. Luke's Foundation and please specify for women in need of a mammogram.
Graveside service was held at 10 a.m. Monday Nov. 19, 2012, at the Idaho State Veterans Cemetery in Boise. A memorial service was held at 6 p.m. Monday, Nov. 19, 2012, at St. Luke's Eagle, 3101 E. State St. in Eagle.