James M. Stratton, Jr., a long-time resident of Tahoe City, passed away Nov. 17, 2009, at Tahoe Forest Hospital following a lengthy illness.
The eldest of four children of James Malcom Stratton, Sr. and Katherine Whitney Stratton, Jim was born Aug. 24, 1928, in San Francisco, and grew up in Berkeley where his father was a doctor and his grandfather, a professor of psychology at UC Berkeley.
Following graduation from Thacher School, Ojai, Calif., Jim was accepted as a U.S. Navy Air Cadet and served two tours with patrol squadrons in Japan during the Korean War, attaining the rank of Lieutenant Commander. Leaving the Navy, he became a pilot for Pan American Airways before moving into corporate flying with Volkswagen America from which he retired 20 years ago.
An avid skier, Jim built his Tahoe City home on Olympic Circle, originally as a weekend get-away, just after the 1960 Olympics for which he helped to set the downhill courses. After retiring, he moved from San Francisco to make Lake Tahoe his permanent home, becoming a member of Tahoe Yacht Club in 1988. Jim had also been a long-time member of San Francisco’s University Club and the Air Sheriffs’ Association.
He is survived by his brother Dwight (Kathleen) of Escondido, Calif.; sisters, Patty, now living in Spain and Margo Peters, Pt. Richmond, Calif.; and his daughter, Michelle Stratton of Tahoe City.
Memorials may be made to any Parkinson’s Disease research or support organization of your choice. A celebration of Jim’s life will be held on Sunday of Memorial Day weekend, 2010.