Today's Featured Biography
James (Jim) Snook
UPDATE 2010: Janet and I are spending the summer this year back in Canmore, AB in the Canadian Rockies. We will return to the States when it cools down. Planning to spend the Fall in SW and StL Missouri, leaving for Arizona early November to stay the winter.
UPDATE 2011: We had to leave Arizona this year in mid-January in response to Janet's diagnoses of Ovarian cancer. We headed to Houston, TX for treatment at The University of Texas Medical Center MD Anderson Cancer center. Please check the Blog at our Website: www.wanderingstar.mysite.com for Janet's progress.
UPDATE 2012: The Blog will document Janet's death, I am of couse devastated. I do not know what life has in store for me now. I left Bolivar, MO after Janet died and traveled back to the house in Florence, AZ after several months, where I found little support for me, dealing with Janet's death, I left with the RV and returned to Bolivar. I lived there, at the Farm on our RV site, all summer, until early October. I am now on the road for the foreseeable future. You can contact me via E-Mail.
UPDATE 2013: Spent the early part of this year in Lake City, FL by myself. Very lonely existance. I don't believe I am made to be alone. After returning to the house in Florence, AZ I spent many a lonely day and night there very few of our friends came by and I did not get out at all. My mother, who is in Asst'd Living, in Casa Grande, AZ became ill and after hospitalization was moved to a Rehab facility in Chandler, AZ. I spent several months with her in and out of there. Through all of this and the earlier part of the year I was communicating via E-Mail and Texting, a classmate of ours in California, Sheila Thompson-Ockey. We traveled to see each other a few times and now are traveling together. We are in Houston, TX at the MD Anderson Cancer Center of the Univerity of Texas Medical Center. I was diagnosed with Cancer in my left Tonsil and a few associated nodes. I have been in treatment since July 10. Everything is very promising.
UPDATE: 2014: We have spent biggest part of this year, so far, in Lake City, FL which is convenient to returning to Houston for check-ups. We did fly to AZ and drove to Sheila's house in CA to check up on both houses and see doctors, dentists, etc.
However, we left there and traveled, with the RV to northern Indiana for remodeling, upgrading and repairs. When leaving here we will attend the graduation of two of my grandchildren in Missouri and Illinois. During all the travels between California, Indiana, Missouri Sheila was diagnosed with Breast cancer. SOoo, we immediately went to MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, TX to confirm diagnoses and establish treatment. So, our summer in Colorado was delayed.
We are currently in Denver and will be for a month. The stay at 8000 ft in the valley of the Arkansas River headwaters has been put on hold for another summer.
I sold the Lot that I had bought up there (back in '05) this spring. So will rent a lot in the same RV community whenever we want to spend some time up there. Returned to Arizona house late September and left a few days later for Puerto Penasco, Sonora, Mexico and stayed the month of October there on the Sea of Cortez at my resort.
Upon returning to Arizona we spent some time there and moved on to Sheila's house in Hanford, CA located in the San Joaquin Valley.
UPDATE: 2015 (June)-- We are currently in Bolivar, MO Janet's hometown. Left Hanford, CA early May and readied the RV in Arizona for the road. We came to Missouri for my eldest grandson's graduation from University of Missouri-Columbia.
UPDATE 2016: Sheila and I currently have the RV parked at beautiful Morro Bay, CA on the pacific coast. Plans are to stay there until leaving for our 60th OHS Class Reunion in Septmber. Looking forward to seeing everyone there.
We have attended my grand daughter Randi's high school graduation here in Edwardsville, IL during a driving tour of the Midwest this spring.
Of course there is always the returns to MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, TX for checkups.
I love communicating with old friends and making new ones from school or the old westend neighborhood. So please drop me a note and let's just chat! I guarantee you I WILL SEND YOU A REPLY !!
I'm a born and raised 'WestEnder', born and raised on Pershing Avenue (now Gateway Dr. after urban renewal demolished my old neighborhood). My home was the third house east from McLean Street on the south side of Pershing Aveune, very close to the house shown in my Slide Show, which was my Great-Grandfather and Grandmother's house (built by him and my Grandfather and his brother. Our house was built by them too when my grandfather married my grandmother. Pershing 'was' south of the (then) CB&Q railroad tracks, 1-1/2 blocks south of west Main Street. Currently my homes' property is occupied by the Coca-Cola Bottling plant. Our neighborhood was turned into an Industrial Park several years ago (part of the disgusting Urban Renewal).
I attended Douglas Grade School, which was located on the corner of West Second Street and Holt. It too, is no longer there.
Then on to Washington Jr High School on West Fourth Street (also no longer there, Fire).
An interesting note is that some of the bricks, from the streets that were in our neighborhood, have been preserved in a Memorial to Central Addition, Blackhawk Area, and Marina-Gateway neighborhoods. The Memorial is located on the north side of US Highway 34, just west of the Wapello Street Bridge (US63). It's between the highway and the current river channel. Many of the family names from that neighborhood have been memorialized in the bricks which make up the memorial. In recent developments, the City has received a Grant to restore this Memorial, in view of the vandalism that all but destroyed it.
You may remember me more, by the black 1948 Ford Tudor sedan that I drove while at OHS, and my very pretty, steady girl friend, Joyce Boyer. You probably remember Joyce more than me, which is understandable, she was a very talented Roller Skater at the Airport Rink.
I worked at the Ottumwa Daily Courier while in high school. This was a somewhat natural progression from a newspaper delivery boy of several years, however, not all newspaper carriers are provided that opportunity. My jobs included removing the papers from the presses, distributing the paper bundles to the mail room, carrier room, and carting the papers for mailing, to bus stations in town. After the press runs, I would work in the composing room cleaning the machines that set type and produced the half round 'page plates' that mounted to the rotary presses which produced the newspapers. This provided for a very nice lifestyle for my girlfriend and I, also gas and maintenance for the 1948 Ford, which took us to high school each day.
After graduation in 1956 I went to work for Mercer Printing and Office Supply, on Second Street, across from the YMCA and the Elks Lodge, there in Ottumwa. I worked that summer, and in the fall I followed my parents to Denver, CO where my father (Wayne A. Snook) had went to work earlier that year, before I graduated.
I took a job with the Denver Post as a Copyboy and soon after that I went to work for The Martin Company (which became Martin-Marietta Corp, and is now Lockheed-Martin), an AeroSpace company producing Titan I, II, and III SM-68 ICBM's for the USAF. Titan IV's were still used to launch USAF secret satellites until Oct 19, 2005 (see my slide show). My job was in Product Support, specifically in the production of Technical Manuals (T.O.'s) used by the USAF military customer to maintain the equipment we produced.
I married in 1961 to JOAN Y. SHISLER of Denver, CO. JOAN was born in Denver, and we met while working together at Martin-Marietta Corp. We had two children, Jeffrey James and Jamie Lynn. Both of our children graduated from NorthWest Missouri State University, Maryville, MO with BS degrees.
JOAN and I rented in Denver for a couple years, before building a house in Northglenn, Colorado where we lived for 4 years.
Early in 1966 I accepted a job with another AeroSpace company in St. Louis, MO, McDonnell-Douglas Corp. (now The Boeing Co), starting work on March 19, 1966. They were producing the F-4 Phantom II aircraft for USAF, USN, USMC, and many Foreign Militaries around the world, we built a total of 5005 aircraft. I later worked on the F/A-18 Hornet and Super Hornet aircraft weapon systems until I retired from there in June 1995 with my wife JOAN, who also worked there on the AV-8B Harrier aircraft which was built for the USMC, the British, and the Spanish.
Within a week of our retirement, JOAN was diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumor (Glioblastoma); she died 11 weeks later, at home, in Florissant MO, where I nursed her, until her death, early in the morning of September 27, 1995.
After 38.5 years of working in AeroSpace we had made plans to travel the country in our RV for the foreseeable future. SO, I set out alone to live out our dream after JOAN died. I met my now, late wife, born JANET L. TETERS, of Bolivar, MO. She adapted very well to the RV life style and enjoyed it as much as I did. We traveled the country, and have been from Key West, FL to Victoria, BC, Canada and Cabo San Lucas, Baja California, Mexico to Newfoundland/Labrador, Canada. We spent our winters in Florence, AZ, where I now have a house. Florence is between Phoenix and Tucson, a quite little 'Main Street Town', in the desert, 60 miles from the center of both of these big cities.
My children have both been married; my daughter has two children, Mitchell James and Miranda Nicole. She is now divorced. My son, is married, and has two children Riley Joan and Randi Lee. They both live in the St. Louis, MO area. My son works for Regions Bank in the Mortgage Dept, and my daughter is working at two different restaurants in the StL area.
While in Denver, before and after being married, I played a lot of fast pitch softball. I started in Class A and as our team increased in our abilities/skills we moved up in Class. We finally reached the top league (AAA) in Denver, playing both in City Park and Garland Park leagues.
In the winter's I bowled, and although I played with some very good bowlers in Denver, my real accomplishments came after we moved to St. Louis area and I bowled at Dick Weber Lanes in Florissant, MO. There I was taught by some very great bowlers, including Dick himself, and other professionals who bowled there in the area. I have bowled two (2) ABC/USBC sanctioned 300 games, and (4) 298 games while there in Florissant at Weber Lanes, and averaged well over 200 until I retired from work in 1995.
I have accepted the Administrator position on this ClassReport.org WebSite. If you would like to contact me, just click on my name in the OFFICE area of the OHS '56 HomePage of this site.
I am currently 'domiciled' in South Dakota where I am an offical resident there (it's a tax thing), however we have acquired property in many states around the country, including a town lot in Davis, SD. When residing in our RV, I'm in Missouri in the fall and spring seasons, for about 6 weeks each, when the weather is tolerable. Winter finds me migrating, with the birds, to the south and generally to Florence, Arizona where I have the house. Summers, and part of the spring and fall are spent in various parts of the United States and Canada, usually looking for cool/dry weather. We have found that ELEVATION is the key to dry climates and cooler temps in the summer. Therefore, I can generally be found roaming the Rocky Mountains. (See my Slide Show above for pictures of the RV, which is HOME for me, and takes me to the many places we have been). We have recently added a new dimension to our RV rig, I now use a Euro (Generation One), smart Car which rides on board our Isuzu truck and in front of our Newmar MountainAire 5th wheel trailer.
The RV lifestyle affords me the chance to experience many aspects of American life around the country. We have found many wonderful places and met a lot of wonderful, and interesting people.
Fall of 2003 we wrapped up two months of working in the Campground at Grant Village in Yellowstone NP (Aug/Sep). What a beautiful place, it's a great 'backyard' for a summer! My only shot at working since retiring in 1995. Actually got some paychecks.
2004 found us in Ottumwa (June 16-17-18) and visited with Judy Close-Minear, Joyce Doud-Bishop, Pat Wilbanks-Neal, Gene Fuller and Jim Cruchelow while there. July found us in Canmore, AB, Canada which is in the Canadian Rockies just south of Banff NP. IT IS AWESOME THERE, beauty everywhere, our favorite summer place, although the Canadians are making it more difficult to go there with increases in costs of everything. Now (summer '10) the US dollar has lost so much ground to the Canadian dollar that it's almost impossible to spend much time there anymore.
I was in Baton Rouge, LA bowling, for my 24th year of bowling in the ABC's (now USBC) 102st National Open Championship Bowling Tournament in early April '05.
In '06, I was bowling in Corpus Christi, TX with about 69,000 other bowlers, and was presented with a plaque designating 25 apperances in the tournament. In '07 we traveled to Reno, NV to make my 26th appearance to the tourney. 2008 saw us in Albuqueque, NM for my 27th trip. In '09 we where bowling in Las Vegas, NV for my 28th appearance in the tournament. '10 found us in Reno, NV for my 29th, 2011 was scheduled for Reno, NV but health issues prevented my appearance there. So, I will be making my 30th appearance in Baton Rouge, LA in 2012 for my 30th year of bowling the Tourney.
2004, I had a very successful trip, Team Event 524, Doubles 567, Singles 611, for an All Events total of 1702 (my tourney high is 1834) in the Regular Division. Now, 2005 in Baton Rouge, LA was a different story. Much tougher condition, and did not do well, but still got 1/2 my entry fee back in prize money. The most recent years have not been that favorable. There is always next year.
I had some sad news just as we were about to leave Missouri in fall of 2004. My next to youngest brother Robert LeRoy (Bob), one of my twin brothers, died suddenly from a massive heart attack. Since he was my mother's sole care giver in Denver, CO, we had to drop everything and move my Mom to Arizona, where my other two brothers, Frank and Ronald (Robert's twin) live fulltime, and Janet and I, 4-5 months in the winter. Mom is now (2014, 97 years old) still feeling OK.
Since we love ELEVATION (due to the weather it provides in the summer), we had a chance to purchase a RV lot in Nathrop, Colorado (mid April '05) and did so. We now will be spending more summer time there at 8000 ft, on the headwaters of the Arkansas River. Also, it's only 714 miles (can drive it in a "long" day) from our winter place in Arizona. We spent 2-1/2 months there summer of '05, 2 months in '06 and 3-1/2 months in '09. I have added a patio, and poured the footings for a deck which will project out toward the river.
Fall of '06 found us making our way to Ottumwa for the 50th Reunion of the O.H.S. Class of 1956. We had a wonderful time. So many classmates returned this time. I heard, that this was the Largest of all Class Reunions, EVER in the history of OHS Reunions.
In '11 Janet and I returned to Ottumwa for the 55th Class Reunion, Janet loved to attend our reunions, she so enjoyed all the classmates and had made many friends. It turned out to be her last of our reunions. I'm so very happy that she got to see so many of the friends that she had developed.
See our Personal Website for many pictures of our travels and a Blog of Janet's last year of life with us.
Check the Homepage Slide Show for additional information and pictures from The Reunion.
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