Baker City, Oregon
James Wade “Jim” Robbins, 66, of Baker City, died at his home on July 31, 2004.
The family will be host for a gathering at 3 p.m. Sunday at the Baker United Methodist Church, 1919 Second St. Friends are invited to join family members for cake and punch while they honor Jim’s life.
Jim was born on Nov. 2, 1937, at Banner Elk, N.C., to Robert Pell and Margaret Estelle Pritchard Robbins. He grew up and attended school in Avery County, N.C. James was one of 13 children.
In 1958, James left North Carolina and moved to Santa Maria, Calif. He got a job working for General Motors as an automotive repairman. While working for GM, Jim received six years of trade school training for automotive repair.
Arranged by his landlady, Jim started corresponding with a young lady at Caldwell, Idaho, named Linda Vernholm. After several letters, Linda agreed to visit Jim in California.
They were married a year later in 1966 at Caldwell. Linda joined Jim in California, and in 1968 their son, Robert James, was born.
In 1972, the family relocated to Baker City where they have lived for 32 years. Their daughter, Lynn Marie, was born in 1973.
In Baker City, Jim worked at the Chevrolet Dealership, Poe Motors and had his own automotive repair shop. He then worked for Don Giles until he retired in 1993.
He was a teacher and a mentor to many local mechanics. He also taught automotive repair for Treasure Valley Community College.
Jim was always willing to help people out with their car troubles. Even up until his last days he still received calls from people asking questions about how to fix their cars, which he was more than happy to answer.
He was an honest and giving man. He was so giving, that when he had his own shop, he had a hard time charging people for fixing their cars.
Jim loved his family very much. He enjoyed woodworking and made furniture for his wife and children.
He also was a hunter and a fisherman. Even though he couldn’t read music, Jim played the guitar, learning all songs by ear.
Survivors include his wife of 38 years, Linda; his son, Robert, and his girlfriend, Sandra Miller, of La Grande; his daughter, Lynn Weems of Baker City; a brother, Grant Robbins of Sedro Wooley, Wash.; three sisters, Florence Evans of Pismo Beach, Calif., Elizabeth Hartley of Charlotte, N.C., and Margaret Ann Calhoun of Newland, N.C.; six grandchildren, AliAnne, Alastair, and Aidan Weems and Jennifer, Michael, and Daniel Altherr; and numerous nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, two sisters and six brothers.
Memorial contributions may be made to Pathway Hospice through Gray’s West & Co., P.O. Box 726, Baker City, OR 97814.
Used with permission from: Baker City Herald, Baker City, Oregon, August 6, 2004
Transcribed by: Belva Ticknor