Junior Bottoms May 5, 1921, Junior Oneal Bottoms entered this world in Red Bay, Alabama. On April 6, 2014 he passed away in his sleep in Templeton, California. He was 92 years old and had made his peace with the world. He was ready to go to his next home in heaven and be reunited with Jeri Bottoms, his wife of 57 years who passed away in 2003. Junior is also preceded in death by his mother and father, a brother, and a sister. During his younger years he was a military man, joining the Army and being stationed on Guam. To hear stories he did see some combat, mostly with his superior officers! After fulfilling his Army obligations he rejoined Jeri and they moved to Pixley. He and his brother operated a Mobil gas station for a few years. Employment with Pixley Union School District came next; being a janitor/maintenance/bus driver, a chaperone on school field trips, and many other tasks that were required. He was also a Reserve Deputy Sheriff for the Tulare County Sheriff's Department and a volunteer ambulance driver. He had many stories to tell, including helping a woman deliver her baby. It was quite a feat, since he spoke no Spanish and she spoke no English! While in Pixley he and Jeri managed to raise their family; daughter Jeni and son Jeff. Church activities always took a high priority. Junior was Sunday School Superintendent, teacher, prayer leader and usher at the Assembly of God Church. In 1965 the Bottoms family moved to Tulare. Junior was given the opportunity to learn the trade of meat cutting. He worked at C's Market in Tulare for many years, learning his craft. Junior learned it well as he still had all 10 of his fingers! Church activities, this time at First Assembly of God Church in Tulare, remained a constant in Junior and Jeri's life. Many hours were spent "hanging out" at potlucks, picnics, and get-togethers with friends. Camping in the Sequoias, Pismo Beach, and Morro Bay was a favorite activity that was also enjoyed. Norman and Betty Piper were good camping buddies, and were always available for a good game of Tic or Uno! In 1976, Junior decided to retire, and Rancho Fiesta Mobile Home Park in Visalia became home. Not long after, the job of manager became a new career. He remained in his position for a few years, but wanted more free time. Junior and Jeri started a business, J.B.'s Pilot Car Service. For many years he as the driver and Jeri as co-pilot followed oversize/wide loads of equipment and a lot of mobile homes, up and down the road in various states and towns. This was his favorite occupation and many people in the business became good friends. When his co-pilot passed away in 2003 he retired and for the last several years he has lived in Atascadero with two of his sisters, Clemma and Mae Gwen. Junior is survived by daughter Jeni Vadnais and husband Rory; son Jeff Bottoms and wife Kelly; three grandchildren, Justin Bottoms and wife Stephanie, Branden Bottoms, and Mickayla Bottoms; three great-granddaughters, Jasmyn, Jessica, and Joanna Bottoms, all of Visalia; sisters, Clemma Sallee, Mae Gwen Moody, and Yvonne Gates. He also leaves behind several nieces and nephews, their children and many people who were lifelong friends. Memorial graveside services will be held at 10 am, Thursday, April 17, 2014 at Tulare District Cemetery. Arrangements are by Peers Lorentzen Funeral Service.
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Published in Visalia Times-Delta and Tulare Adv-Register on Apr. 12, 2014
Peers-Lorentzen Funeral Service
132 W Kern Ave Tulare, CA 93274