James Oliver Muirhead
1936 - 2020
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James Oliver Muirhead
June 8, 1936 – July 12, 2020

James Oliver Muirhead was born June 8, 1936 in Yazoo, MS and passed away peacefully at his home in San Pedro, CA on Sunday, July 12th surrounded by his family.

Jim graduated from Gulfport High School in Gulfport, MS. In 1954, Jim joined the military and served as Sergeant in the United States Marine Corps. He received an Honorable Discharge as well as the National Service Medal and Good Conduct Medal. Serving his country in the Marines was one of Jim's proudest accomplishments which he carried with him throughout his life. His passion for service was passed down to two of his sons, Mike who served in the US Marine Corp and Steven who served in the US Navy.

After serving his country, Jim attended and received his Bachelor of Science Degree in 1962 from the School of Engineering at Mississippi State University.

Jim joined Hughes Aircraft in 1969 as an Off Premise Lead Engineer working on a Classified Range Program. He enjoyed a productive career of over 30 years, ultimately progressing to Chief Scientist. During his long career, Jim was granted seven United States Patents that were related to the United States Military Defense Program. One of his patents was for a Munition Impact Point Indicator and Automatic Gun Aim Point Correction System

In Retirement, Jim pursued his life-long dream of sailing to Central America and traveling through the Panama Canal on his 53' sailboat, "Tralee". Embarking on January 22, 2000, Jim's only companion on the first leg of his voyage was his loyal dog "Jethro". Jim considered Jethro to be more of a side-kick than a pet. By June, Jim's son Eric joined him in Costa Rica, acting as First Mate for the second half of the journey that concluded in Key West, FL in January 2001.

Upon his return, Jim was hired as a Consultant for Hughes Electronics in Sacramento, CA and stayed for two years. His remaining years were spent traveling the world with his best friend and wife Sandy, growing his garden, walking his second best friend and companion Shiloh. Jim was an avid and colorful storyteller. He loved when his children and grand-children visited (well, when anyone visited), so that he could share stories of his life adventures and experience.

Jim was preceded in death by Father, Lewis R. Muirhead, his Mother, Nettie E. Muirhead as well as his sister Patricia Muirhead.

Left to treasure his memory is his wife Sandy. Jim and Sandy were together for over 35 years. Also left are his sister Nettie Wright, the mother of his children Glinda Martin Muirhead. Children; James (Julie) Michael Muirhead, Eric Patrick Muirhead, Lisa Anne Chadwell and Steven (Christina) Martin Muirhead. As we were blessed to be a truly blended family he also leaves behind, Helena (Robert) Foote, and Janeen (Victor) Arrigo. 12 grandchildren; Joshua (Tiara) Johnson, Aaron Eilers, Katie Muirhead, Rachel Arrigo, Saranne Muirhead, Emily Muirhead, Steven Muirhead, Hannah Eilers, Halle Foote, Audrey Shrewsbury, Cole Muirhead, and Quinn Chadwell. Great grand-children; Tyler and Jaylon Johnson. Nieces; Suzanne and Julie and Great nephew Ian.

Jim fiercely loved his children and family. He lived life with passion, chasing adventure but always returning to his commitment to work and family. Jim was a man of honor and integrity and will be sorely missed by all whose life he touched.

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in Palos Verdes Peninsula News on Jul. 21, 2020.
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July 25, 2020
I miss you Dad!
Mike Muirhead
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