James Edward Buckhalter was the sixth child born to the late Simon “Bruce” and Myrtie “Jean” Buckhalter, on Nov. 25, 1959 in Longview, Washington. He grew up and attended school in Clatskanie, Oregon, graduating from Clatskanie High School in 1978. He passed away peacefully on Dec. 1, 2021.
In 1980, Jim joined the US Army and was stationed at Fort Carson, Colorado Springs, Colorado where, at a garage sale, he met the love of his life, Kelly K. Ridge. Jim was then transferred to Germany for a 2-year tour. It was there that he proposed to Kelly in a telegram, she joined him, and it was there that they were married in 1983 in the Schloss Phillippsruhe Castle in Hanau, Germany. That union lasted for 38 years and blessed them with two wonderful sons that he was so proud of. He loved fiercely and deeply with all his heart, we had many years of growing up, but never once grew apart. We were unbreakable and inseparable.
In 1984, after returning home from Germany, Jim went to work at the now, Georgia Pacific, “Wauna”mill in Westport, Oregon until his retirement in 2016 as a paper-maker. A job that he was extremely good at and thoroughly enjoyed. Through his employment, he made many special friends and formed many lasting relationships with his co-workers. As Jim approached retirement, he yearned to leave the wet, cold area of Clatskanie and move to the east side of the state where he said there were four seasons and it was warm. Halfway, Oregon became his new home where he loved to ride his quad, hunt and even changed out his salmon/steelhead fishing for crappie and trout. He would return to the coast several times each summer for fishing, crabbing, and clamming and to spend time with his favorite treasures, his boys and their families.
Jim enjoyed being a “snowbird”, living six months in Halfway in the summer and six months in Brenda, Arizona where he met many, many special lifelong friends and was hailed a great trail leader in the desert. Always looking out for everyone he rode with. He was a devoted father and avid fisherman and hunter to his sons. Often heard talking about his favorite 2021 summer, spending time with the grandkids at Silverwood, and fishing and crabbing with his boys and grandkids, clamming with Kelly and pulling out Cory’s Bull Elk! Teaching his boys every aspect of the sport. He enjoyed the outdoors and was a problem solver who often took on difficult and unwanted projects around the property. He was a proud patriot and a US Army Veteran. He will be deeply missed by his friends and family. Anyone who was privileged enough to know Jim was touched by his kindness, humor and mild temperament.
Jim is preceded in death by his parents; sisters, Betty Bacon and Linda “Diane” Anderson; brother Richard Buckhalter; and granddaughter Jennassie M. Will.
He is survived by his wife Kelly; sons, who inherited his sense of humor, his strong, hardworking work ethic and his honesty, with whom he was most proud of, James R. Buckhalter (wife Amanda) and Cory E. Buckhalter (wife Alicia); grandchildren, who meant everything to him, Evan Sweet, Sydnie Buckhalter, Trax Buckhalter, Brynnley Buckhalter, and Ridge Buckhalter; daughter (from a previous marriage) Jennifer and grandsons, Tanner Will and Brennen Morris, who he would have loved to gotten to know; brother Daniel Buckhalter; sisters, Deborah Hoxit, Barbara Hendricks (Monte), and Sandra Crape (Russ); and many nieces and nephews.
A celebration of life w with Military Honors will be held on June 4, 2022 - 11:00 a.m. at Pine Haven Cemetery in Halfway, Oregon. Donations can be made in memory of James Buckhalter to The Wounded Warrior Project, PO Box 758517, Topeka, Kansas 66675 or woundedwarriorproject.org.