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Celebration of Life
Saturday, Apr. 20, 2019
4:15 PM
American Legion Post 807
Olivehurst, CA
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James Freeman Welts Jr.


1955 - 2019 Obituary Condolences
James Freeman Welts Jr. Obituary

It is with much sorrow we share that James Freeman Welts, Jr., age 63, passed from this world on December 18, 2018, surrounded by family. He was known to many as "Jimmy" or "Big Jim" and "Poppa Jim" to his grandchildren.

Born September 2, 1955 in Kittery, Maine, the oldest child of James Freeman Welts Sr. and Henrietta (Wilkins), he became a local fixture of the Yuba-Sutter area beginning in 1965. Towering over most with an easy charm, he developed lifelong friendships throughout the decades. He was loved by his community, and known for appetites in cannabis, motorcycles, and women.

He could make or break a party depending on his mood for mischief. Not many could match his pool skills or cribbage game, and he passes on a love and knowledge of both to his children. He had as many crazy stories as regrets, one being that he always believed there would be more time to spend with his parents before they passed.

The last few years of his life were consistently inconsistent, resulting in relocation to Utah. It was there, with the love and support of his sister and family, he was able to create a life he enjoyed that included camping and horseback riding at Yellowstone, spending time with his kids and grandchildren. He finally enjoyed the open road on his custom made low-rider motorcycle. It was quite a sight to see this big guy cruising down the road on his motorcycle with his two faithful Chihuahuas.

One of his biggest plans was to return to Maine where he felt he always belonged. While working in Wisconsin he became ill with Bacterial Meningitis. Only such a strange and random disease could lay this giant, in life and personality, so low.

He will be remembered for the love of his country as an USAF Veteran, his love of music, adventure and swimming in the local rivers. He will be missed as a grandfather, father, uncle, brother, and honest friend. We are humbled by the weight of his loss.

He is survived by his stepmother, Cathy Welts; sister, Gay (Nick) Sohnrey; nieces: Anastasia (Kelby) Hamilton; Tatiana (Steven) Krutke; children: Brandi (Jeff) Soderberg; James Welts; Ashley (William) Greylock; Jocelyn Fredell; grandchildren:, Bella, Dustin, Mars, Bailey, Remy; and Little Dog and Buddy.

Big Jim's Celebration of Life will be held at the American Legion Post 807 in Olivehurst on Saturday, April 20, 2019 (4/20), starting at 4:20 pm. Feel free to join us as we share stories and pictures about one of the last honest outlaws.
Published in Appeal Democrat on Apr. 14, 2019
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