Lewiston Morning Tribune (ID) - December 29, 2000
Deceased Name: James R. Wilber, 65, Boise
James Roland Wilber, 65, of Boise, passed away Tuesday, Dec. 26, 2000, in Boise after a courageous battle with cancer.
A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. today at Covenant Presbyterian Church with a graveside service to follow at Dry Creek Cemetery.
Born April 11, 1935, in Richwood, W.Va., Jim spent the first 15 years of his life in the South before his family moved to Lewiston. At Lewiston High School, Jim lettered in football, basketball and his favorite sport, baseball.
More importantly, though, Jim met Janette Rawls at Lewiston High. The high school sweethearts continued their courtship after graduation. While Janette earned her teaching degree at the University of Idaho, Jim attended the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md.
After his graduation in 1957, Jim returned to Lewiston and married Janette. Together, they drove to Athens, Ga., where Jim attended the Navy Supply Corps School. His next tour took the newlyweds to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, for 14 months. He returned to Athens for a three-year teaching assignment. Jim and Janette also became proud parents of their daughter Julie, who was born in Athens in 1959.
Jim then attended Purdue University, where he earned a master's degree in industrial administration. From there, the family was off to Guam, where James Roland Wilber Jr. was born in 1964. Jim's next tour took him to Washington, D.C. After that, the family moved to Norfolk, Va., the home port of the USS Seattle, where Jim served as supply officer from 1969 through 1970.
The family moved to Newport, R.I., where Jim eventually became commanding officer of the Naval Supply Center. He also spent a year at the Naval War College in Newport. Three consecutive tours in Washington, D.C., followed, culminating with a four-year tour in the Pentagon as chief of the Logistics Planning Division of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Jim ended his career as a captain in command of the Defense Subsistence Region Pacific in Alameda, Calif., where he served for four years. He retired in 1987 after 30 years of distinguished service. His commendations include the Defense Superior Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Navy Commendation Medal with gold star, and the Navy Unit Commendation.
Jim and Janette returned to Idaho that same year, settling in Boise. Julie joined them and in 1988, married Doug Smith, of Boise. Unable to stay retired for long, Jim took a job as an investigator with the Idaho Human Rights Commission. He worked there for seven years.
Jim was an avid gardener and sports fan, cheering on his beloved Washington Redskins and New York Yankees from all the places he called home. A devout Christian, Jim was a devoted and loving husband, father and grandfather. He is remembered by all who knew him as kind-hearted and generous.
In 1999, Jim and Janette joined Covenant Presbyterian Church. The family suggests memorial contributions be made to the Covenant Presbyterian Church Building Fund.
Survivors include his wife, Janette; daughter, Julie and Doug Smith and their children, Rachael Anne and Logan James, of Meridian; son, James Wilber Jr. and Heidi and their children, Christopher Chase and Alexa Annelise, of Sarasota, Fla.; and his sister, Barbara and Jack Owens, of Chester, Va.
The family would like to thank the nurses and staff at Four South of St. Luke's Hospital and the staff at MSTI for their kindness and dedicated care.
Services are under the direction of the Alden-Waggoner Funeral Chapel at Boise.