Obituary Notices and Memorials


DELAINI, James John
DELAINI, James John The first born son of Carlo and Rose Delaini, was born on May 5, 1933 In Santa Barbara, California where he was raised through childhood. As a child, Jim picked strawberries with his father who served as caretaker for a Montecito Estate. He graduated Santa Barbara High School in 1951. Jim continued his education at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. While attending college, he was drafted by the Army but deferred to enlist in the US Navy where he served four years. His major duty station during this time was Kodiak Alaska. Jim shared fascinating stories about his time in Alaska at Kodiak and Treasure islands, which many of his family and friends can recite by heart. Upon concluding his service with the Navy, James purchased a hotel in Goleta (College Motel). Ever the 'Work-horse,' Jim subsequently owned and operated his own construction company while simultaneously working for FAA. His employment with the FAA, (which had started in 1961) concluded as he retired in 1981, when he began work with the City of Lancaster and later accepted employment with Raytheon as a quality control specialist for the Western United States. This facilitated his love of travel, taking him throughout the South Pacific and Western United States. Although technically retired after his employment with Raytheon, apparently no one told Jim who clearly never understood the meaning of the word. He completely remodeled the Lancaster home and built St. Andrews Anglican Church for their use on his own property. A farmer at heart Jim loved his 'Acre' where he proudly sat atop his beloved tractor, tending to his fruit trees and garden. Jim was an active member of the Elks Club for over 40 years. He was also a member of the North American Boot Club and volunteered with the Civil Air Patrol. In his service with the CAP, he flew many a search and rescue mission looking for downed aircraft as well as 'Sunset Patrol' looking for distressed boats. Jim told several amusing stories about close calls and crash landings during his time with the Civil Air Patrol. He greatly enjoyed flying and owned two planes, (a Piper Cub and Piper Tripacer) maintaining both commercial and instructor licenses. A consummate outdoorsman, Jim was an avid Bar-B-Quer, a Boy Scout Leader for eight years and, (self-proclaimed) an excellent fisherman . He enjoyed camping, backpacking, and hiking. Among his most favorite of places were Mt. Lassen, June Lake, and any place he could go deep sea fishing. Jim loved visiting his aunt Mary in MacAuther, Calif. which usually included a fishing trip. James married Sara Ann Rosa in March of 1957 and he was blessed with two children, Dianne and Charles.They divorced in 1979, prompting his move to Lancaster, California, where he met the love of his life Shirley in January of 1991. They were married later that year on June 22, and spent the following 22 years happy and in love. Jim became an instant Father to Shirleys adult children, Jeff and Diana, as well as a beloved Grandfather to an additional five grandchildren. Visits from and to see Grandpa were eagerly anticipated by Nick, Alex, Sarah, Savannah, Chloe. Nobody loved a party more than Jim. He especially delighted in his surprise 80th birthday party on 'Cinco de Mayo.' Jim and Shirleys home became the focal point of a large and loving extended family where countless Christmases, Easters, Birthdays and other holidays were shared together. Their effort to decorate for Christmas became a weeks long event as they worked together and supervised assisting family members such as his son Charles, and nephew, Trevor, in transforming the Delaini home, (both inside and out) and surrounding yard and driveway into a Winter Wonderland. With over a dozen fully decorated Christmas trees, hundreds of decorations and tens of thousands of lights, it was truly the pride of his neighborhood. Jim and Shirleys shared interest in traveling and camping took them to each of the Hawaiian Islands, Canada, and Jamaica. They enjoyed romantic cruises to Alaska and Mexico, and regularly took advantage of there 'second home on wheels' for camping/fishing trips to the Sierras and Oceanside. 'Mule Days' in Bishop California was an annual event that they enjoyed together with majority of the family that they so love. Additionally, the Delainis were also active members of the Lancaster Elks 'Desert Sunrise' Camper Club. Jim is survived by: Shirley, his beloved wife, Vivian Dianne, (Jim), daughter, Charles, son, Diana (Steve) daughter, Jeff (Genevieve) Son, sister Laura (Billy). Nine grandchildren, Jason, Jeff, Jill, John, Nick, Alex, Sarah, Savannah, and Chloe, and three great grandchildren. Numerous Nephews, Nieces, and Great Nephews and Nieces. Also mourning his loss are his loyal pets Babe, Bella, Sophie and Lucy. Funeral Service will be held 3 pm Thursday, September 5, 2013 with a visitation starting at 2 pm at Halley Olsen Murphy , 44831 Cedar Avenue, Lancaster. The Interment will take place 2pm Friday September 6, 2016 at Bakersfield National Cemetery, Arvin, Calif. In lieu of flowers the family would appreciate donation being made to Jim Delainis Memorial Fund at St. Andrew Anglican Church, 2034 W. Avenue K4, Lancaster, Calif. 93536.

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