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James C. Althoff

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James C. Althoff Born in Lansing, Iowa December 8, 1922. Died May 22, 2009, after battling Alzheimer's for several years. Predeceased in 2004 by his loving wife Agnes. For the last 5 years he received loving care from the staff at Silverado Senior Living Belmont Hills. For that, we will be eternally grateful. He joined WWII as a pilot in the Army Air Corps in 1944, flying 57 combat missions out of Northern Italy in B24s. He met and married Agnes in Milwaukee after the war and moved to California to join fellow pilot Ernie Van Aspern in business. Together they built Ernie's Liquors to a chain of 90 plus stores. Called back to service for Korean War, Jim served as a pilot instructor in B17, B24, B25, T28 and T33s. After Korea, he stayed in Active Reserve and flew fighter jets out of Hamilton Field. He resigned his commission in 1957 and devoted full time to family and business. He was awarded Command Pilot Status. In addition to Ernies Liquors, he was an owner or partner in various businesses, restaurants and bars, apartments and motels on the peninsula. Co-founded and ran from his home the 781st BS Association (WWII B24s), was instrumental in establishing Jackson Rancheria Casino, and helped Indian tribes nationally. He served terms as President, National Liquor Stores Association, California Retail Liquor Association and was on various other Association Boards of Directors. Inducted into Sky Ranch Foundation Hall of Fame in 1995, a charitable Foundation providing funding for Sky Ranch For Boys in South Dakota, helping troubled teens. An avid duck hunter, boating enthusiast and flier he built several ultra-lights. He enjoyed his family, gardening, water skiing, scuba diving, fishing and traveling. I do not believe there was anything he could not do. He remained active in business until Alzheimer's slowly took his ability actively participate. He is survived by 3 brothers, 3 sisters, two children, Patricia and Michael, 5 grandchildren and 5 great grandchildren. He will be greatly missed by all that knew him. Our loss is the Lord's gain. Friends may visit Wednesday, May 27, 2009 after 5:00 pm and are invited to attend a Vigil Service at 7:00 pm at Crippen & Flynn Woodside Chapel, 400 Woodside Road, Redwood City. A Funeral Mass will be held Thursday, May 28 at 10:00 am at Church of the Nativity, 210 Oak Grove Ave, Menlo Park, with burial following at Holy Cross Cemetery, Menlo Park. Contributions to charity may be made in Jim's name to SKY RANCH FOUNDATION, PO Box 8420, Fredricksburg, VA 22404, or the -Northern California, 1060 La Avenida, Mountain View, CA 94043. Crippen & Flynn Woodside Chapel 650-369-4103 www.crippenflynn.com
Published in San Jose Mercury News on May 27, 2009
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