James “Jim” L. Holdridge
1929 – 2015
James “Jim” L. Holdridge, 85, passed away, June 5, 2015 at home in Woodfords, Alpine County, CA. He was comfortable and knew that his family was with him. James was born in Hillsdale, Michigan in 1929 and moved to Orange County, California in 1958. Jim grew up in Ypsilanti, Michigan graduating from Ypsilanti High School in 1947 going on to Eastern Michigan College before completing a dual major of history and government at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, MI. He completed his Master’s Degree in History at the U of M in 1952. While working his way through college at the University Hospital he met and eventually married nursing student Marjorie “Marge” E. Tomblinson in 1952. Jim and Marge continued to be lifelong “Big-10” Wolverine fans and alumni including
several trips over future years to the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, CA. Jim along with several of his Ypsilanti school buddies were drafted into the U.S. Army during the Korean Conflict upon finishing their college educations. They all went to Korea except Jim who was stationed in Germany during his tour of duty. Upon his honorable discharge from the Army in 1954, Jim began his public school teaching career in Taylor Township, MI. In 1958 Jim and Marge moved their growing family to Orange County, CA where he was hired as a high school teacher with the Orange Unified School District (OUSD) in Orange, CA. Jim’s 31-year career with the OUSD included positions as a teacher, counselor, vice-principal and district pupil personnel manager. For years after Jim’s work as a guidance counselor, his children would proudly hear anecdotal stories from others relating that the only reason they graduated from school and moved-on in life was from the efforts of “Mr. Holdridge”. During the 30-years the family lived in Orange, Jim was always the quietly loving and supportive father for all the activities of their 6-children; Girl and Boy Scouts, band, drill team, clubs and sport teams. He was always the behind-the-scenes parent who took on the difficult projects, long drives and most of all contributing his time. Jim was a member of the Orange Breakfast Lions Club for over 25-years, and assisted the fund-raising efforts of the Club. He enjoyed local ocean fishing with his boat, good friends and his children, along with camping and cross-country car trips with the entire family. The family were members of the Holy Family Catholic Parish in Orange, until the expansion of the archdiocese and formation of Saint Norbert’s Catholic Church in 1963. The Holdridge Family was one of the founding families of the new parish. Jim was active with the parish from the original days as a member of the building fund-raising campaign for the new church that was finally built in 1966, to serving as a choir member, soloist, lector and church carnival worker. Jim and Marge began their retirement years in Woodfords, CA in 1989 and over the past 26-years have participated in many community activities in Alpine County. Jim assisted the Alpine County Unified School District Superintendent with a new and innovated high school transitional counseling program. Jim also served on the Alpine County Grand Jury as Foreman in 1990-9. Always enjoying fishing, Jim assisted with many fish stocking days, fishing derbies along with tying and using his own flies in the local waters. Jim and Marge assisted with projects for the Diamond Valley Child Care Center, and the “50+ Club” work for the famous bicycle event “The California Alps Death Ride” as members of the “Skeleton Squad”. Jim always the academic researcher and voracious reader always believed in the importance of community and school libraries. He was a strong supporter of the Alpine County Library and its administrative restructuring within the county during the early 1990’s and served as a Commissioner on the Library Commission for approximately 5-years, many as the Chairman. Jim and Marge contributed their efforts to the Alpine County Library with many reorganization and book shelf construction projects. They were part of a group responsible for a revitalization of the Friends of the Library (FOL) organization including the introduction of the now well known FOL fundraiser, “Death Ride Mugs”. Besides wife, Marge, Jim is survived by 6-children: Jim Holdridge, Jr. (Linda) & Anthony “Tony” Holdridge (Angela) all of Woodfords; CA; Robert Holdridge (Geraldyne Marsh) – Santa Cruz; Sue Shatzel (Mike) – Fountain Valley, CA; Twin daughters: Janet Bruneau (Mike), and JoAnn Munski (Larry) both of Benicia, CA. Additionally, Jim and Marge have 9-grandchildren and 4-great grandchildren. His wife of over 62-years, Marjorie E. Holdridge, appreciates the good wishes, prayers and positive thoughts from the communities and friends of Alpine and Orange Counties. In lieu of flowers, please make any donations in his name to the Alpine County Friends of the Library – P.O. Box 187 Markleeville, CA 96120. Cards may be sent to the Holdridge Family at 20560 Hwy. 89 Markleeville, CA 96120. There will be no public service or event. The family will have a private service and remembrance in the near future.