Christian 03

James Rueben Aitken

June 3, 1937 ~ September 4, 2023 (age 86) 86 Years Old
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James Aitken Obituary

James Rueben Aitken, 86, of McKinleyville, California, was called home to be with his Lord and Savior on September 4th, 2023.

Jim was born in Arcadia, Wisconsin, on June 3, 1937, to Rueben John and Harriet Lucille Aitken. Jim’s sister, Joyce, was born in 1942. In 1951 his family moved to the Rose Valley community near Kelso, Washington. 

Growing up, Jim was a kind and considerate brother, cousin, son, and friend.  He built a cart so their goat could pull his sister, Joyce, around.  He spent lots of time with his cousin, Bill Walters, and High School friends, Darrell and Frenchie. He was a good carpenter and handyman and even built a hot rod with his dad.

He graduated from Kelso High School in 1956 and went to work at Longview Fibre.

In 1958 Jim married Jean Foley.  Jim and Jean’s children, Pam and Brian were born in Kelso, Washington, Bruce was born in Arcata, California.

In 1965 Jim and Jean moved to McKinleyville, California where Jim worked at G.P. Pulp in Samoa, CA.  In 1972 the family moved to Woodland, Idaho where Jim worked with Jean’s Dad on the family ranch.  In 1975 Jim moved to Eureka, California to work at L.P. Pulp in Samoa, CA as an Instrument Technician.  Jim and Jean divorced in 1976.

Jim Married Joyce Lucinda Hutton in 1977. Jim and Joyce made their home in Blue Lake, California.  He used his many skills to remodel the house, and build an impressive barn/chicken coop, raised bed gardens, a greenhouse, and a play structure for the grandkids. He could fix and build anything and he was a pretty good cook as well.  Jim and Joyce enjoyed travel, gardening, and visiting their children and grandchildren. Jim was a long-time member of Arcata Church of Christ.  Grandkids, their cousins, and friends have great memories of going with Jim and Joyce to Sunday School with Happy Meals and salads afterward. 

Jim Retired from L.P. Pulp in Samoa on July 1, 1999. Many of his coworkers became close friends, and remember him as “the nicest guy.” 

In 2014 Jim and Joyce moved to Timber Ridge Assisted Living in McKinleyville.  Joyce passed away in 2016, after a long battle with Parkinson’s Disease. From the onset of Joyce's diagnosis, Jim was her devoted and selfless caregiver.

Jim was preceded in death by his wife, Joyce; parents, Rueben and Harriet; and step-sons, Chris Hutton and Doug Hutton.

Jim is survived by his sister Joyce (Chuck) Coate, children Pam (Frank) McIntire, Brian Aitken, Bruce (Crystal) Aitken; step-children, Jeff (Carol) Hutton, Don (Vicki) Hutton, Cindy (Matt) Hally; daughters-in-law Linda (Doug) Hutton, Joy (Chris) Hutton; 11 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.

Jim was a loving, stable, giving father, step-father, grandfather and husband.  We were all blessed to have him in our lives.

Thanks to Timber Ridge Assisted Living in McKinleyville, California for your care and compassion.  He loved listening to the Timber Ridge Boys and going on the weekly excursions!

Anyone who knew Jim would agree with Timber Ridge resident Betty Hanson, “Jim was a kind and loving soul, maybe an angel among us.”

A family graveside service will be held at a later date at Blue Lake Cemetery in Blue Lake, California. 

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