James "Jim" William Trotter passed away peacefully on Sept. 1, 2008, with his wife by his side. He was 82.
Jim was born Oct. 17, 1925 to J.W. and Helen (DeVault) Trotter at Lincoln Hospital in East Los Angeles. He attended Theodore Roosevelt High School, and upon graduation went into the Navy as a Motor Machinist's Mate Third Class on a floating dry dock in the Philippines.
He and Pat, his high school sweetheart, married on Nov. 3, 1944. He was honorably discharged from service on Jan. 26, 1945, and returned to Los Angeles to start a family and work at Trotter Manufacturing, a woodworking business started by his father.
At the urging of his childhood friend Les Barlow, on Nov. 1, 1956, Jim joined the Los Angeles City Fire Department. During his service with the LAFD, he was instrumental in the formation and growth of Los Bomberos, a fire education and prevention program designed to serve the Spanish-speaking communities. Jim worked his way up to become Fire Captain and finally retired as Task Force Commander on Dec. 24, 1976.
The Trotters moved from Whittier to Red Bluff in 1979. He immediately joined the Bend Volunteer Fire Department, but was quickly recruited by then Tehama County Coroner Don Cole to serve as Deputy Coroner. He filled this position for eight years, alongside Don, who quickly became a lasting friend, along with his wife Jan.
Jim and Pat built a beautiful home by hand in the Bend area north of Red Bluff on the Sacramento River. There they spent more than 20 years living and laughing; offering shelter to both family and friends; boating, gardening, singing and playing the ukulele, and telling stories.
His woodworking and problem-solving skills kept him involved in many projects and activities. He was chosen, along with his wife, as Volunteer of the Year, which reflected the many programs, institutions and lives for which he served, such as STARS, the Discovery Center at the Diversion Dam, the riding academy for the disabled, AWANA and Good News Clubs, and so forth. He remained active throughout his life in such pursuits until very recently when his health prevented him from being so involved.
He felt truly blessed in life. Among the things God provided him were a loving family and wonderful life-long friends, such as Al and Lisa Vega; Otto and Jan Herman; Don and Norma Hartley; Dolly (Barlow) Williams; Cal and Harriet Margulies; Armen and Georgia Abrahamian; Sam and Rose Ortega. The Lord also blessed Jim with a love for boating, and he and Pat spent many hours on many bodies of water; oceans, rivers and canals provided their lives with wonder and beauty.
Jim is survived by Patricia "Pat" Trotter, wife of over 60 years; daughters Laura Dawn Dougherty and Eileen Eve Wright; son-in-law Mike Dougherty; siblings Eugene Trotter and Genevieve Pulice; brother-in-law John Pulice; niece Shannon O. Massey; grandchildren Heather Dawn Dougherty, James Joe Aragon, Jesse Wade Dougherty, Anna Marie Aragon and Karen Jennifer Davis-Aragon; great-grandchildren Dominic Aragon, Kinley Aragon and Hope Padden-Dougherty; great niece and nephew Summer and Joshua Fishman.
A memorial service celebrating Jim's life will be held at 11:30 on Saturday, Sept. 13 at North Valley Baptist Church, 345 David Ave. in Red Bluff. In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent in Jim's name to St. Elizabeth Hospice, 1425 Vista Way, Red Bluff.
Visit the online guestbook at www.legacy.com/redbluffdailynews/obituaries.asp
Published by Daily News from Sep. 7 to Sep. 11, 2008.