James Thomas Haliday

obit-halliday---100_0427James Thomas Haliday

Aug. 2, 1930 — Dec. 3, 2014

Jim passed away peacefully, on Dec. 3 at the Pagosa Springs Medical Center in Pagosa Springs. He was born Aug. 2, 1930, in Milwaukee, Wis., to Delphine and Thomas Haliday.

Jim is survived by his wife, Joanne Haliday, of Pagosa Springs; his identical twin brother, John, and loving companion, Gale, of Mary Esther, Fla.; his sons Keith of San Francisco, Calif.; Lance, and wife Debbie, of Granada Hills, Calif.; Mark, and wife Jennifer, of Camarillo, Calif.; daughter Laura Johnson and husband, Randal, of Phoenix, Ariz.; son Thomas, of San Diego, Calif.; eight grandchildren; stepson Steven Tothe, and wife Lixin; stepdaughter Patricia Marinos; four stepgrandchildren; three stepgreat grandchildren and ex-wife Zoila. He was a loving dad/grandpa/great grandpa to all of them plus a loving, caring, patient and always thoughtful husband.

He was raised in Milwaukee and was a top student and track athlete. Jim enlisted in the United States Marine Corps at the age of 17 and was a combat veteran of the Korean War. Jim joined the Air Force and was a combat veteran of the Vietnam War. He was a navigator and retired after 24 years of service, where he rose to the rank of lieutenant colonel. He achieved a master’s degree at the University of Southern California in quantitative analysis.

Jim owned his own business as a financial manger in California after retiring from the military. He also began hiking and backpacking with the Sierra Club in California. When he decided to retire and move out of the “big city,” Pagosa Springs was “the” place for him.

Jim moved to Pagosa Springs in 1994 and joined the Gray Wolves Ski Club as well as the Outdoor Club. He attended the Pagosah Unitarian Universalist Fellowship. In 1995, Joanne started attending the UUs and that’s where they met. They were casual friends until they married in 1998 and then became loving soul mates forever. Their song, “You Light Up My Life,” describes perfectly what they felt in their hearts and lives.

Jim was very active with many groups in Pagosa Springs. The Gray Wolves Ski Club, Outdoor Club was the first ones he joined, as well as the Recycling Committee. Around 1997, he also became very involved, along with his wife, Joanne, in the American Cancer Society’s annual fundraiser, Relay for Life. This year, Jim was named the third top person in raising money. He and Joanne headed their church team for many years. In 2001, Jim started the Salvation Army extension in Archuleta County and was chairman until 2007. He scheduled all of the bellringers at three different locations during the month of December each year. Since Jim always had a great sense of humor, he referred to himself as the “head ding-a-ling.” In 2004, Jim and Joanne joined the Community United Methodist Church in Pagosa. Several years ago, he joined the American Legion Post 108 in Pagosa and became the bugle player and then the treasurer. It seemed that he was voted the treasurer of virtually every group he was part of. Jim was a wonderful conversationalist and always had a joke or story to tell.

Jim will be so missed by his many friends and family. He certainly left this world in a much better place to and lived by the Golden Rule.

A Celebration of Life service will be held at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 21, at the Community United Methodist Church in Pagosa Springs. In lieu of flowers, this humble, peaceful, patient, always thoughtful, loving man requested that you may donate to the Marines Toys for Tots Foundation at P.O. Box 1947, Quantico, VA 22134.

This story was posted on December 18, 2014.