It is with hearts full of love, and with gratitude of a life well lived, to announce the passing of James A Jarvis. He died peacefully, in his own bed, surrounded by the love of his family, Thursday evening, January 26, 2023.
Jimmie was born June 10, 1922 at home on the Ravenswood Plantation in Swan Lake, Jefferson County, Arkansas to Mabel Claire Campbell and Jesse Pitts Jarvis. This union produced four boys, Floyd Alexander, Benjamin Campbell, Jesse Pitts Jr, and James Adams. The family lived and managed farms in places like Tarry, Wilkins, Ferda, New Gascony Arkansas, and Rena Lara Mississippi. In 1942 Mr Jarvis died and the boys having left home moved their Mother from the country to Pine Bluff Arkansas, across the street from Martha Virginia Ryland who along with her springer spaniel puppy Jim enjoyed giving car rides when home on leave.
When Pearl Harbor was attacked Jim was working with the US Coast and Geodetic Survey before coming home that Christmas. Chasing his dream of being an aviator motivated by his exposure to, and riding with the plantation barnstormers Jim decided to enlist in the Army Air Corps. During his physical, he passed out at the sight of the needle and washed out of the program. His military career was altered at that time to become a ground crew personnel when during an interview a 2nd Lieutenant asked if he would be interested in Cadet Flying School. Explaining his past, the Lt. told Jim to ‘go stand in that line and tell them you’ve never heard of the program’ He always wished that he knew the name of that Lt. Several months later he himself was a 2nd Lt and was introduced to the B-25 aircraft. At 20 years old and what he characterized as ‘a young shave tail’ he was assigned a $95,000 piece of equipment and 5 airmen to be responsible for and flew out of Savannah Georgia to New Guinea and the Philippines. In 1946 Jim returned to the USA with 1347:35 Total Flight Hours. At one time during the war, Jimmie was in the Philippines, brothers Ben was in a sub off the coast of Japan, Pitts was in the first wave landing at Utah Beach, and Floyd was deemed an essential worker stateside. All of them returned home safely.
After the war Jimmie returned to Arkansas, attending the University of Arkansas on the GI Bill, and along with brother Pitts bought a farm, built a house, and raised cotton near Grady, before selling out and moving to Colorado. During this time Martha had moved to New York City. Jim began a long distance courtship traveling between Colorado and New York that resulted in a wedding in Pine Bluff in 1949. They were married for 61 years before Martha passed away in 2010. There was not a day that he did not miss her and was looking forward to being with her once again.
In 1950 his brother Floyd and his family, Jim and his family, their Mother in tow, moved to Logan, settling in after finding it a nice college town with lots of opportunities and good people. They all shared a house on west 400 North, and purchased the Culligan Soft Water franchise. Proud of their heritage, their southern hospitality, not to mention the accent, common sense, and some luck led to them building a successful business that people throughout Cache Valley trusted and depended upon. Much like people around him that Jim made certain were accommodated, included, and respected, Jim always enjoyed the fact that he was helping people improve their lives.
During his years in Logan Jim remained active in the Air Force Reserves retiring as a Colonel. He worked hard to be a part of the community participating as a member of First Presbyterian Church, The Jaycees, Chamber of Commerce, Logan Men’s Club, Planning and Zoning, Scouts, Logan Regional Hospital Governing Board, Logan Rotary Club, and the Bluebird Coffee Club. Following retirement Jim and Martha traveled extensively always making sure the route included stops at their 3 boy’s homes, or that of friends and family near and far.
In 2018 Jim made the decision so that his kids didn’t have too, to sell his house and move to Maple Springs Assisted Living. For the entire 5 years he lived there he enjoyed being comfortable, and reveled in not cooking, shoveling snow, and mowing grass! His springs and summers were spent growing a small patch of cotton and tomatoes. Our family is grateful for the love and care shown to Dad from the aides, nurses, and staff. Thanks also to CNS Hospice for help in Dad’s last days. There are angels among us.
Jim is survived by his sons and their families, Jim and Mary Kae in Colorado, Bob and BK in Montana, Ben and Mary in Utah, grandchildren Ryan (Annie), Nicole, Virginia, Amber, and great-grandchildren Jamie and Iris.
Jim’s life was celebrated over 4 days on his 100th birthday as he was joined by friends and family from California to Maryland and points in between, and of course Arkansas. It could not have been a better opportunity to reminisce, reacquaint, and rejoice.
There will be a graveside service with military honors on or about June 10th at 10:00 am at the Logan City Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, Jim requested consideration of the Logan Rotary Foundation Dictionary Project, PO Box 9, Logan UT 84323, or the 1st Presbyterian Church Peace Garden, 178 W Center, Logan UT 84321. Arrangements are being handled by Allen-Hall Mortuaries.
Heroes are not giant statues framed against a red sky. They are people who say: This is my community, and it's my responsibility to make it better. Jim was a hero to his country, community, and his family.