Jimmie Harold Tehan was born June 25, 1938, to Harold and Josephine (Yeager) Tehan in San Diego, CA. A sister, his only sibling, came a year later.
Living in East San Diego during his early years, he developed a very close relationship with a neighbor girl who lived across the street. They were always together taking a streetcar to the San Diego Zoo or walking a half-mile to the local movie theater on Saturday afternoons. His family spent many weekends surf fishing and camping on the beach or heading to the desert for target shooting.
He enjoyed time with his grandparents. His paternal grandfather was an avid baseball fan who listened to the San Diego Padres games on the radio and took him to weekend games at Lane FieId in downtown San Diego.
At age 10, his family moved to Willits, CA, where he spent the happiest of his early childhood years fishing the local streams and camping in the woods, where his love of the outdoors first began. There he and his friends were allowed to take their 22's out and shoot. Sandlot softball was another favorite pastime in those days. He later said, "I was in heaven."
In 1951, his family moved back to San Diego to settle into the community of National City and make new friends. Fortunately for Jimmie, he made new friends easily, but he regretted leaving Witlits, feeling his life had changed forever. He was 13.
Schooling continued, and during his senior year of high school, he got a job at a service station and later went to work for a car dealership doing oil changes and lubes. He loved the work and developed a lifelong interest in cars, belonged to a car club in high school, and got involved in drag racing in the 1950's. He graduated from Sweetwater High School in 1956 and went on to college while working part-time.
Soon after, he was married with two little ones to feed, Terry Lynn and Jimmie Dean. To provide for his family, he left college to work with his dad in construction, beginning as a Carpenter Apprentice. Not much later, his wife left him and the two little ones. It was a difficult time in those days for a single father, but the courts allowed him to have custody, with the support of his parents, to keep the two children together and out of foster care. Terry Lynn was 2, and Jimmie Dean was 5 months old.
Jim married for the second time and became a father again to daughter, Chris Noel. The marriage was short-lived, but he embraced Chris with his whole heart.
For the next 9 years, while raising his first two children, he continued his work in construction, advancing from Carpenter Journeyman to Construction Superintendent.
In 1969, he met and married Melanie Boisvert Mouillesseaux, a divorced mother of 3 (Laura Jean, 8; Darren Edward, 6; and Lisa Joy, 4). They combined their two families and raised 5 children together while including Chris in their family life as well.
Jim continued his work in construction, advancing to Project Manager/Estimator, while attaining a California General Building Contractors license. He also completed the San Diego Police Reserve Officer's Academy and served as a volunteer Police Reserve Officer until retiring as a volunteer SDPD Reserve Sergeant.
He and his wife, Melanie, retired to Southern Oregon from San Diego in 1998 where they settled into a quieter country lifestyle. And there was no looking back!
He loved his dog, Lakota, a rescue Healer mix, a dog that substituted for the chocolate lab he dreamed of having in his retirement. "Kota" was a special dog in his life. Later, Sophie, a rescue pit bull mix came along, but "Kota" was never put aside in his heart and memory.
One of the many interests he wholeheartedly pursued was volunteering in his community, and he served on or headed up many projects and committees. These include: the Josephine County Parks Department Board and the Weed Removal Program at Lake Selmac, the IV Soil and Conservation Board, the IV Medical Center board, and the Dine and Discover club.
Jim became an active lifetime member of the Southern Oregon Fly Fishers where he was named "2002 Member of the Year" and served as SOFF President in 2003-04.
He spent time camping, fly fishing, tying flies and target shooting, and he enjoyed working around his property. He often said, ''Every day in Oregon is a good day!"
Other leisure times were spent watching western movies (even old reruns by John Wayne, the Duke, and "Make-My-Day" Clint Eastwood), NASCAR races, other TV programming such as "Larry's Country Diner," and documentaries about the Greatest Generation, history in general, politics, and nature programs. He was an avid history/geography buff and a proud patriot.
He enjoyed cutting and splitting wood for the wood stove and quality time in his shop using his power tools or making homemade fire starters. During cold winter months indoors, he was learning to play the guitar, bake breads, rolls, and biscuits, and did a bit of cooking, much to his wife's delight! In the summer, he enjoyed barbecuing and relaxing on the deck, watching for wildlife, and enjoying the beauty of his woodland property.
Because he had an interest in so many things, he could easily strike up conversation with just about anyone anywhere, even in line at the pharmacy! He truly loved people, could even be spotted at quilt shows with his wife where he would help sell tickets on her quilt guild's opportunity quilt.
He never let a challenge defeat him. He was strong in his faith in God, and a loving and devoted husband and father who gave his all to those who needed him. He will always be remembered and missed by his closest family and friends.
His sister Betty Jo Vuscovich and his parents preceded him in death.
He is survived by his wife, Melanie; his daughter, Chris Noel Mayor (Al) of Goodyear, AZ; daughter, Laura Jean Tehan of Fallbrook, CA; Lisa Joy Pierce of Lakeside, CA; Darren E. Mouillesseaux of Pipe Creek, TX; 8 adult grandchildren; and several great-grandchildren, nieces, and nephews and many special others.
In lieu of flowers, a donation in Jim's honor can be made to Tunnel to Towers (T2T.org) or a charity of your choice.