Fenelon, James

Fenelon, James Roy "Jim"

James (Jim) Roy Fenelon, 81, of Stockton, California, passed away on January 2, 2024. He was born in Dayton, Ohio on March 1, 1942, to Roy and Mary Alice (Brinkman) Fenelon, and was the oldest of five children. Jim grew up in Dayton in St. Anthony parish and graduated from Chaminade High School and the University of Dayton (Class of '64). He earned a master's degree in psychology from the University of Texas (1966) and received an Air Force commission of second lieutenant. The Air Force sent him to Travis Air Force Base in Fairfield, CA where he later joked, he "successfully kept out the Viet Cong." Jim fell in love with the climate, the culture, and the 800 miles of rivers in the Delta, including the San Francisco Bay. He quickly learned to water ski, sail, and snow ski and ate cuisine not found in Dayton. Jim and his wife, Marge, moved to Florida with the Air Force but moved back to the Sacramento area when Jim was discharged with the rank of captain. Jim started work as a school psychologist with Lodi Unified School District in 1971 and worked there until his retirement at the age of 60 in 2002. He ended his career at Tokay High School.

After moving to Stockton, CA he bought the first of three houseboats that he would own. His first boat was named Jimbo but the next one was named Truant, referencing his years as supervisor of child welfare and attendance for the school district. He belonged to four boating clubs, including the San Joaquin Delta Power Squadron and the Stockton Yacht Club. Jim was very involved with both Stockton clubs, teaching boating safety classes for many years for the Power Squadron. In 1987 he was elected as commander of the service organization and in an unusual turn of events stayed on as commander for a second year. Jim was named commodore of the Stockton Yacht Club in 1998, serving the usual one-year term. He enjoyed participating in the cruises, regattas, parades, and events held by his local boating clubs, as well as those in other areas of the state waterways, and proudly displayed all the plaques and awards he had received over the years. When he lived on Smith Canal, he berthed his boat behind the house at docks that he had built himself. The boat behind the Ruddy Duck house in Quail Lakes was a pontoon boat that he would drive around Meadow Lake, sipping a gin and tonic and visiting the neighbors.

Retirement for Jim included travel, extensive genealogy research, learning to play golf, and returning to Dayton regularly to visit family and friends. He also continued his passion for classic cars. He had a 1969 convertible Chevrolet Impala for many years but later in life owned a Thunderbird, Corvette, and Mustang. He was an involved member of the Modesto Area Classic Thunderbird Club. Jim was active in his church, first at St Bernadette's and later at Church of the Presentation.

He is survived by his daughter, Carrie Huffman (Portland, OR), son-in-law Jeremy, grandson Joshua, sisters Sue Ann Curd (Valrico, FL), Mary Beth Celebrezze (Huntley, IL), Paula Dvorsky (Huntley, IL), brother Richard Fenelon (Chesterton, IN), and good friend Corine Herrera (Tracy, CA). A celebration of life will be held in Stockton in February with burial in Dayton at Calvary Cemetery on May 11.

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