Monroe, James Ross “Jim” – Obituary

Baker City, Oregon

James Ross “Jim” Monroe, 71, a longtime Baker City resident and former owner of Monroe Mortuary, died Oct. 23, 2004, at St. Elizabeth Health Services.

His funeral will be at 4 p.m. Thursday at Coles Funeral Home, 1950 Place St. Vault interment will be at Mount Hope Cemetery. Pastor Susan Barnes of First Presbyterian Church will officiate.

Visitations will be until 7 o’clock tonight and from 9 a.m., to 3 p.m. Thursday at the funeral home.

Jim was born on July 7, 1933, at Santa Barbara, Calif., to Carl Thomas and Mamielee Riddlespurger Monroe. He was raised at Santa Barbara and was educated there, graduating from Santa Barbara High School. He continued his education at Ventura College at Ventura, Calif., before settling on the study of mortuary science. He attended the San Francisco College of Mortuary Science, graduating in 1954.

He then went to work at La Jolla Mortuary in La Jolla and Oxnard, Calif. His next employment was with Winbigler Mortuary at Santa Ana, Calif.

He met Martha Rafn at Santa Ana. They were married on May 24, 1964.

He continued to work for Winbiglers for 22 years before he and his wife purchased the Langrell Mortuary in Baker City in 1981. They operated the Monroe Mortuary for 15 years, retiring in December 1995.

Jim loved music and played several instruments, including the saxophone and clarinet. He loved Big Band music and had an extensive collection.

He and Martha enjoyed traveling and went on several trips abroad. He enjoyed people and always had a joke ready for any occasion.

When asked how he was, his favorite reply was, “I’m not dead yet.” He loved to cook and specialized in gourmet meals.

He loved his boys and participated extensively in their activities, especially Boy Scouts, where he served as assistant Scoutmaster, and DeMolay, a Masonic youth group.

He was a member of the Masonic Lodge, No. 47, AF&AM; Baker Valley Scottish Rite; Esther Chapter, No. 11, Order of Eastern Star; past high priest and past commander of the York Rite in Santa Ana, Calif.; Baker County Shrine Club; Baker Rotary Club; Baker Elks Lodge, No. 338; and the First Presbyterian Church.

Survivors include his sons, Thomas Monroe, and his wife, Rochella of Silverdale, Wash., and Ross Monroe of Seattle, Wash.; grandsons, Jonathon and Joel Monroe of Silverdale, Wash., and Riley Monroe of Seattle, Wash.; half-sister, Barbara Hommer of Wawa, Pa.; and several nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents; and his wife, Martha, in 2002.

Memorial contributions may be made to Crossroads Arts Center or the First Presbyterian Church through Coles Funeral Home, 1950 Place St., Baker City, OR 97814.

Used with permission from: Baker City Herald, Baker City, Oregon, October 29, 2004
Transcribed by: Belva Ticknor

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