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James C. Peterson

May 19, 1930 - March 17, 2017

James (Jim) Clifford Peterson of Portland, Oregon

On the morning of Friday, March 17th, 2017, about 9:00 a.m. Jim passed away of natural causes in his Portland home.  He was 86 years old.

Jim was born in Minot, ND on May 19th, 1930.  He was the first son of Verna and Clifford J Peterson.

Jim grew up in Minot where he was active in the Boy Scouts of America, obtaining the rank of Eagle Scout.  He attended Model High School and was active in sports especially football.  He met his future wife Beverly Ann Sjordal during his high school years.

Jim moved with his family to Portland, Oregon in 1949 where his father started a business.  He attended classes at Oregon State University.  Jim joined the U.S. Air Force in 1951.  He was trained as a jet pilot and graduated from Cadet School on June 21st, 1952.  One week after graduation he married Beverly at Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Portland, OR.

Jim served his country in Korea, flying several missions.  He returned to the US in September of 1953 joining his wife and baby daughter Kimberly.   He was then stationed in Valdosta, Georgia where he trained fighter pilots at the local airbase.  His first son James Richard was born during this period.

Jim was honorably discharged from the Air Force in 1955.  He moved his family to Portland, OR and went to work at his father’s business Automatic Welders and Rebuilders.   His sons Craig Randall and Alan Scott were born in Portland.  He worked at Automatic Welders until it was sold in 1977.

Jim was an active member of Central Lutheran Church for many years.  He was the scoutmaster of Troop 67, where all three of his sons achieved the rank of Eagle Scout and earned their ‘God and Country’ medal.

Jim was a model train enthusiast and had a large collection of American Flyer “S” gauge trains.  He built a large train layout in an upstairs room at his home.  He purchased a train and hobby shop and named it “The Whistle Stop”.  Jim was also interested in building miniatures.  After selling “The Whistle Stop” and retiring in 1989 he set up an “O” gauge train in his backyard and built several miniature buildings to enhance the train display.  They included houses, stores, a mill, a barn and a train station.

Jim loved to work in his garden and would spend hours working, planting and admiring it.  His other hobbies included reading and following the Portland Trailblazer basketball team.  But his greatest joys were his grandchildren.  He set up a sandbox for them, helped them build items in his workshop and mostly enjoyed being with them.

Jim was preceded in death by his youngest son Alan, his parents, his brother Mahlon and his sister Donna as well as many other relatives.

Jim is survived by his wife of 65 years Beverly, his daughter Kimberly, his sons James and Craig and their families, many nieces, nephews and cousins.

Jim is interred at Willamette National Cemetery.  Remembrances may be made to the American Diabetes Association.

Jim was an honorable man and will be greatly missed by his family and others who knew him.


click here to go to American Diabetes Association

James C Peterson Photo SQ